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Hundreds of Iraqis killed in four-day battle for Kifl (3rd Infantry UPDATE)
Reuters AlertNet ^ | 29 Mar 2003 19:45:36 GMT | By Kieran Murray

Posted on 03/29/2003 12:36:17 PM PST by 11th_VA

KIFL, Iraq, March 29 (Reuters) - When U.S. tanks rumbled into this town on the Euphrates river, irregular Iraqi forces set up sniper nests up and down the main street, opening fire from doors, windows, market stalls and patches of open ground.

A crimson sunset painted the street red and visibility fell to less than five meters (15 feet) as a swirling sand and dust storm kicked up when the guerrilla units attacked.

U.S. officers said fighters in minivans, pick-up trucks and cars drove straight at the oncoming tanks. Others took to canoes, rowing down the river and trying to fix explosives to the main bridge.

But the guerrilla-style forces were vastly outgunned by the tanks of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, and hundreds of Iraqis have died in this town over the last four days.

The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

"It was mad chaos like you cannot imagine," said the tank unit's commander, who identified himself as "Cobra 6" as he did not want friends and neighbours back home to know what he had been through.

"We took a lot of fire, and we gave a lot of fire," he said.

"You couldn't see anything except all those hues of red and the sound of fire from all sides. It was not earthly. I'll have nightmares about it."

Dozens of bodies still littered the streets on Saturday.

Some were wrapped in blue and black body bags, but others were still out in the open, rotting in the midday sun. Several spilled out of their charred and shattered cars and trucks, burned beyond recognition.

HIGH COST

Iraq's efforts to stall the U.S. military advance towards Baghdad appear to include putting elite officers in with irregular paramilitary or guerrilla structures at strategic points.

In Kifl, which lies north of Najaf and about 130 km (81 miles) south of Baghdad, the strategy may have slowed the U.S. forces, but only at an extremely high cost.

Some U.S. soldiers estimate that at least 1,000 Iraqis were killed here since the fighting began at dusk on Wednesday, and everyone puts the number in the hundreds.

Officers say just one U.S. soldier has died.

Sporadic mortar fire and bursts of sniper fire kept U.S. troops alert in the town late on Saturday, but officers said most of the resistance in the town had been overcome.

The main danger was now posed by an artillery unit about 16 km (10 miles) to the north.

"I'm sure there are still some knuckleheads in the town, but the real problem is what's outside," said Colonel Joseph Anderson of the 101st Airborne Division, which moved in to help secure Kifl on Saturday.

Wave after wave of Iraqi soldiers and paramilitaries had set up mortar positions at an old brick factory on the edge of town, getting dropped off from civilian vehicles at a large tree that U.S. forces here now call the "Gateway to Hell".

U.S. officers said they had destroyed up to 50 vehicles making drop-offs there, adding the brick factory, like much of Kifl, was now virtually abandoned.

The canoes lie empty on the river beds and only U.S. soldiers walk up and down the town's main streets.

Some families were still seen in their homes on the edge of town on Saturday, tending to sheep and goats as U.S. tanks and trucks rolled by with nervous soldiers looking out over the fields, their guns loaded for any new guerrilla threat.

While the guerrilla tactics appeared to have failed in Kifl, the Iraqis claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb which killed at least four U.S. soldiers on Saturday at a military checkpoint near Najaf.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: canoes; deadiraqisoldiers; embeddedreport; iraq; iraqifreedom; kia; kifl; minivans; roadtobaghdad; war; warlist
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The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

whoaaaaa .....

1 posted on 03/29/2003 12:36:17 PM PST by 11th_VA
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To: 11th_VA
>>>The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

I would pay to see that.

2 posted on 03/29/2003 12:38:56 PM PST by snooker
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To: 11th_VA
The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

Nice!
3 posted on 03/29/2003 12:41:06 PM PST by Zorrito
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To: 11th_VA
creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street

Story by Kieran Murray of Reuters. This is what happens when they don't teach physics in colleges of journalism.

4 posted on 03/29/2003 12:41:34 PM PST by guitfiddlist
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To: guitfiddlist
I wonder if the "Arab Street" has been told of this by their objective media?
5 posted on 03/29/2003 12:42:54 PM PST by rumrunner
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To: 11th_VA
Some U.S. soldiers estimate that at least 1,000 Iraqis were killed here since the fighting began at dusk on Wednesday, and everyone puts the number in the hundreds

Awwww....isn't that a pity? (/sarcasm)

6 posted on 03/29/2003 12:43:15 PM PST by neutrino (Oderint dum metuant: Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.)
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To: snooker
Prayers for our troops.
7 posted on 03/29/2003 12:44:14 PM PST by BenLurkin (Remember the 507th!)
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To: 11th_VA
Officers say just one U.S. soldier has died.

Oh stop, you...you... bully! (blowing into hankies instead of Yankees). < /sarcasm>

Reuters reporters are having heart palpitations and vapors. That should have been at least 1,000 Americans that died.

8 posted on 03/29/2003 12:44:57 PM PST by xJones (Q'iklibt the eternally unwashed)
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To: 11th_VA
People make fun of the French, but afaik the only military success enjoyed by the Arabs was against the Turks in World War II--and that was ONLY because a young English Officer, T. E. Lawrence, was in command.

I can see why. These people have no more idea how to fight than the Plains Indians in the Nineteenth Century American West, who thought hitting a horse-soldier with a coup stick was the ultimate in bravery--then he got shot right off his horse.

9 posted on 03/29/2003 12:45:41 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: 11th_VA
This "sucking" action is something I have never heard of before. But then again, I understand the world is "flat" too. Think I need some more verification on supporting tank fire.
10 posted on 03/29/2003 12:46:46 PM PST by Joee
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To: 11th_VA
The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

Is the tank commander having a litle fun with the reporter? It sounds like a Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill kinda deal to me.

11 posted on 03/29/2003 12:47:53 PM PST by San Jacinto
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To: 11th_VA
Not to sound naive, but if we keep destroying their armor and they don't use Chemicals.......this may the best they can offer....
12 posted on 03/29/2003 12:48:04 PM PST by Ecliptic (Keep looking to the sky)
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To: 11th_VA
"The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks."

I'm assuming that Kieran Murray is the author of this article. If that is the case, this person is an idiot.

13 posted on 03/29/2003 12:48:23 PM PST by x1stcav (HooAhh!)
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To: 11th_VA; carlo3b; stanz
...a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

Now that's a heavy duty vacuum!!!

14 posted on 03/29/2003 12:48:23 PM PST by jellybean (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1979763521 The Clinton Legacy Cookbook)
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To: 11th_VA
You can tell that the Reuters reporter is quite sad that only one American soldier was killed.

They clearly sympathize with Saddam's supporters.
15 posted on 03/29/2003 12:49:03 PM PST by tomahawk
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: San Jacinto
After I posted, I read yours and decided that your scenario is more likely.
17 posted on 03/29/2003 12:49:37 PM PST by x1stcav (HooAhh!)
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To: Illbay
You mean WW I of course, not WW II
18 posted on 03/29/2003 12:50:57 PM PST by tomahawk
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To: 11th_VA
creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street,

New meaning to the Monica effect.

19 posted on 03/29/2003 12:51:22 PM PST by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: 11th_VA
Ditto on the "Whoa". That sentence caught my eye as well.
20 posted on 03/29/2003 12:52:04 PM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: 11th_VA
The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

Now that is a novel battle tactic!

21 posted on 03/29/2003 12:52:38 PM PST by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: guitfiddlist
Careful!

If Bill Clinton finds out about "powerful vacuums sucking people in the street" he way try to hog in on all the glory.


22 posted on 03/29/2003 12:53:23 PM PST by struwwelpeter (vashe blagorodie, gospozha udacha)
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To: 11th_VA
The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street, where they were shot down by small arms fire or run over by the tanks.

Neat if true (sounds a little too good to be).

23 posted on 03/29/2003 12:53:42 PM PST by pttttt
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To: 11th_VA
The officers said the tank unit fired two 120 mm high velocity depleted uranium rounds straight down the main road, creating a powerful vacuum that literally sucked guerrillas out from their hideaways into the street

That giant sucking sound you hear is the reporter's reputation going straight down the toilet.

24 posted on 03/29/2003 12:53:59 PM PST by FredZarguna
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To: tomahawk
Of course.
25 posted on 03/29/2003 12:54:49 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: jellybean
Like shooting fish in a barrel. I have handgun experience, but I would give anything to be standing there with an M16 or whatever the current technology is when these bastards got flushed out.
26 posted on 03/29/2003 12:55:59 PM PST by stanz
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To: struwwelpeter
Don't belive even Monica has an aperture than can clear 120 mm.
27 posted on 03/29/2003 12:56:01 PM PST by FredZarguna
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To: Joee
I've seen these rounds fired over open ground. They leave a dust trail over ground and plants and trees all bend in the vicinity.

If a round is fired down a narrow street or alley then that suction would be magnified certainly. Still, that much though?
28 posted on 03/29/2003 12:56:25 PM PST by Mark Felton
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To: guitfiddlist
My nephew-in-law is a tank driver. We were out salmon fishing last summer and he was telling us how the depleted uranium shells kill tanks.

He said they puch a 2 to 3 inch hole through the tank and the occupants and everything else inside are sucked out through the exit hole by the incredible vacuum created. What a way to go!
29 posted on 03/29/2003 12:58:08 PM PST by Seattle
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To: 11th_VA
This got moved to "Chat," but you all might find it interesting:

ENDGAME---My Perception of the "Plan"

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/879184/posts

30 posted on 03/29/2003 12:58:43 PM PST by LS
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To: 11th_VA
Well, so much for Reuters credibility.
31 posted on 03/29/2003 12:59:25 PM PST by Calamari
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To: 11th_VA
Must be that new M1-B2 "Hoover" tank.
32 posted on 03/29/2003 1:00:14 PM PST by guitfiddlist
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To: jellybean
Now that's a heavy duty vacuum!!!

It's a new weapon, called the Oreck gun. Actually, if you put bowling balls on the front of the tank, they'll get sucked down the street behind the shell.

I suppose they are having supply problems and have run out of bowling balls.

33 posted on 03/29/2003 1:01:50 PM PST by jackbill
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To: 11th_VA
The writer of this has zero understanding of physics, and near zero understanding of military armament. A 120-mm round fired down the middle of a street will not "suck people out of doorways." Something the size of an Atlas rocket, travelling horizontally, might have that effect, but not a tank shell.

Secondly, American tanks and artillery units do not routinely fire "depleted uranium" shells. These are the heaviest and most expensive rounds that we possess. They are used for a specific purpose -- penetrating the sides of enemy tanks or other armored vehicles. They have no other military application. In all other circumstances, depleted uranium shells are LESS effective, not more effective, for the purpose at hand.

Just to use one obvious example in urban warfare: Assume the bad guys are firing through the windows of a brick building. A DU round fired at that target will go through the front wall and then through the back wall, without harming anyone inside, unless they are directly in the way of the shell. A standard, steel-jacketed explosive shell, on the other hand, will take out the front wall, and maybe cause the building to collapse. Any of the enemy who survive that, can then be dealt with by use of 50-caliber machine gun fire.

The writer apparently read somewhere about DU shells, and therefore uses the term in his article as a "bad-*ssed" weapon. Here's how those puppies actually work. Because of their weight and density, a DU shell in a direct hit can punch a small hole -- maybe as little as a half-inch circle -- through to the inside of the armor of even the most modern and well-armored tanks that any potential enemy possesses. What comes through that hole is a small amount of liquid uranium, melted by the heat of the impact and penetration.

Although uranium requires very high heat to liquify, once it reaches that point it burns as smartly as aluminum. The inside of the tank becomes a fireball. Its own ammunition is set off, which causes the explosion that occurs AFTER the DU round has penetrated the tank. In firing on a building, all that penetrating power is self-defeating. But the dummy writing this article didn't have a clue about this, obviously.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, now up on UPI, and FR, "The A-MAA-zing War Wizard"

Latest book(let), "to Restore Trust in America."

34 posted on 03/29/2003 1:02:16 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("Saddam has left the building. Heck, the building left the building.")
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To: Illbay
These people have no more idea how to fight than the Plains Indians in the Nineteenth Century American West, who thought hitting a horse-soldier with a coup stick was the ultimate in bravery--then he got shot right off his horse.

The plains Indians knew how to fight, and much better than this. Man for man, they were better than our cavalry. There just were not very many of them, and they did not have our logistics support. That doomed them. Eventually, all the smart one signed treaties or surrendered. There are probably more Indian genes in America today than there were in 1870. My kids have some of them.

35 posted on 03/29/2003 1:03:02 PM PST by marktwain
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To: 11th_VA
That's a load of bullshit. A DU Sabot round would not create a vacuum. The sabot round does not explode either, so there is no vacuum from any explosion.

The rounds are basically high speed burning darts.
36 posted on 03/29/2003 1:04:43 PM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Mark Felton
That "main street" is probably what the rest of the world would call an ally. Lighting off a 120mm gun in an ally would certainly knock a man over. It could also been that the men in the ally tensed as the round went off. This could have been the force that pushed them into view. As a point of reference, I once shot a muledeer broadside. The animal was facing up a somewhat steep incline. When the round hit, he flipped over backward so that he landed with his head pointing downhill. It wasn't the force of the round (.44 Mag) hitting him that caused him to flip. He flipped over at a right angle to the force of the bullet. It was his muscles tensing that threw his front end over. The same thing could have happened here. They may have literally jumped into the street.

Clearly more experimental data is required. I'm sure that the Iraqis will oblige.
37 posted on 03/29/2003 1:04:53 PM PST by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: Seattle
I know something of Physics and ballistics, and have done quite a bit of work with the people who develope these munitions. This is wishful thinking or exaggeration. We fire 120 mm rounds through cloth targets, and the targets don't get "sucked in".

38 posted on 03/29/2003 1:05:58 PM PST by marktwain
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To: 1stFreedom; All
I think the folks at Aberdeen are probably getting ready to recreate this right now ...
39 posted on 03/29/2003 1:07:01 PM PST by 11th_VA (Let's Roll)
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To: 11th_VA
But the guerrilla-style forces were vastly outgunned by the tanks.....

Then don't bring a pickup truck to a tank fight.

40 posted on 03/29/2003 1:07:40 PM PST by Calamari
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To: San Jacinto
Kind sounds like the "Mail Bouy Watches" we had the new kids stand when I was in the Navy. LOL!
41 posted on 03/29/2003 1:07:44 PM PST by P8riot (Looks like Deja Vu all over again)
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To: Seattle
human toothpaste. ew.
42 posted on 03/29/2003 1:08:16 PM PST by Semaphore Heathcliffe
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To: Congressman Billybob
It's just another Reuters reporter on the job, spreading lies and disinformation, trying to make the United States look bad.

A truly pathetic media organization.
43 posted on 03/29/2003 1:08:27 PM PST by tomahawk
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To: marktwain
I think that the reporter is confusing the muzzle blast in a somewhat confined space for the effects of the round.
44 posted on 03/29/2003 1:09:27 PM PST by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: guitfiddlist
I suspect that there's a lot of hooey here. HOWEVER, as you know a high-velocity (supersonic) object creates a shock wave. The front part of the shock wave is an over-pressure, the last part is an under-pressure (vacuum).
45 posted on 03/29/2003 1:11:06 PM PST by expatpat
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To: 11th_VA
....took to canoes, rowing down the river and trying to fix explosives to the main bridge.....

Iraqi Navy?

46 posted on 03/29/2003 1:11:19 PM PST by Calamari
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To: neutrino
And people were wondering why the DoD ordered 72,000 boby bags.
47 posted on 03/29/2003 1:12:58 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: neutrino
And people were wondering why the DoD ordered 72,000 body bags.
48 posted on 03/29/2003 1:13:10 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: guitfiddlist
Vaccuum.......

I have a hunch there are some soldiers getting a kick out of "funnin' " the gullible, ignorant journalists.

49 posted on 03/29/2003 1:13:42 PM PST by cookcounty
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To: Congressman Billybob
For further illumination on the subject.


That is the sabot emerging from the shell.

50 posted on 03/29/2003 1:14:46 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (http://www.angelfire.com/ultra/terroristcorecard/index.html)
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