IRAQ: KURDISH FIGHTERS HAVE POURED ACROSSS WHAT HAD BEEN AN IRAQI FRONTLINE SAYING IRAQI FORCES HAD RETREATED...
- Title: IRAQ: KURDISH FIGHTERS HAVE POURED ACROSSS WHAT HAD BEEN AN IRAQI FRONTLINE SAYING IRAQI FORCES HAD RETREATED TOWARDS KIRKUK
- Date: 28th March 2003
- Summary: (0955) TAHADI CHECKPOINT, NORTHERN IRAQ (MARCH 28, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. SLV OPENING OF THE BAR AT CHECKPOINT, CARS CARRYING KURDISH TROOPS (PESHMERGA) 0.24 2. SLV SOLDIERS WAVING BACK THE VEHICLES WITH CIVILIANS 0.35 3. PAN CHECKPOINT WITH MORE SOLDIERS IN THE VEHICLES PASSING BY THE CHECKPOINT IN THE DIRECTION OF KIRKUK 0.47 4. SLV OF THE SOLDIERS ON THE VEHICLE 0.54 5. SV PESHMERGA SOLDIER ON TOP OF THE HILL WITH MACHINE GUN 1.03 6. SV ANOTHER PESHMERGA PUTTING ON A BELT WITH BULLETS FOR MACHINE GUN 1.14 7. LV MORE VEHICLES WITH SOLDIERS DRIVING AWAY 1.24 8. SLV PESHMERGA WITH RPG 1.37 9. LV SOLDIERS ON TOPS OF HILLS WHICH WERE UNTIL YESTERDAY OCCUPIED BY IRAQI FORCES 1.47 10. MCU PESHMERGA WITH BINOCULAR 1.59 11. SLV MORE SOLDIERS ON THE VEHICLE (2 SHOTS) 2.18 12. MCU (Kurdish) PESHMERGA MOHAMMED SALIH SAYING "Our troops are already in Kara Hanjer behind the hills and Iraqi soldiers retreated to Kirkuk. Kara Hanjer is halfway, it is 20 kilometres." 2.43 13. SLV SOLDIERS SITTING AT THE CHECKPOINT 2.52 14. SLV ANOTHER SOLDIER ON THE TOP OF THE HILL 3.01 (0955) SULAIMANIYA, NORTHERN IRAQ (MARCH 28, 2003) (REUTERS) 15. TRACKING SHOT/LV OF U.S. MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING THROUGH SULAIMANIYA TOWARDS HALABJA (4 SHOTS) 4.07 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVAA50PKEE8EGP3ZHRQZUI9ZJY5P
- Location: TAHADI CHECKPOINT AND SULAIMANIYA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Duration: 00:04:15
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Kurdish fighters have poured across what had been an
Iraqi frontline saying Iraqi forces had retreated towards the
oil hub of Kirkuk.
Scouts returning from a night in the hills above
Chamchamal, a town in the northern Iraqi enclave controlled by
Kurds opposed to President Saddam Hussein, on Friday (March
28) said they had met no resistance and believed government
forces had fled.
U.S. warplanes last pounded the hilltops above Chamchamal
on Wednesday (March 26), and Iraqis left behind mortars and
machine-guns in their bunker positions.
"We have sent around 300 peshmerga fighters across the
front so far," said senior Kurdish commander Mam Rostam.
"It appears the Iraqis have gone back to Kirkuk. They have
defence lines there, the so-called belt around Kirkuk," he
He could not confirm peshmerga accounts of five bodies
found in one position near the frontline, which collapsed on
Lieutenant Nauzad, a turbaned peshmerga clutching a rifle
and sleeping bag, said he had seen no Iraqi troops during his
night behind the lines.
Oil-rich Kirkuk, 35 km (20 miles) west of Chamchamal, is
of huge strategic importance in the U.S.-led assault to
overthrow Saddam, launched nine days ago.
The breakthrough at Chamchamal was the first such
development along the frontline separating government troops
from Kurdish fighters protecting the northern enclave.
Reporters were allowed to drive around 2 km (one mile)
across the frontline on to heights overlooking Chamchamal.
The advance followed increasing U.S. activity in the
region in what is seen as the start of a new northern front.
U.S. paratroopers landed in northern Iraq overnight, with
Washington putting the force at 1,000-strong from the 173rd
Reuters reporters in the northern city of Sulaimaniya said
on Friday they saw six U.S. Humvee off-road vehicles full of
soldiers carrying heavy machine-guns apparently heading
towards Halabja, where a group of radical Islamic fighters are
The military significance of the collapse of the front
facing Chamchamal is unclear. No clashes were involved and
peshmerga commanders have vowed not to launch an assault of
their own on Kirkuk and Mosul to the northwest.
Turkey opposes any Kurdish attack on Kirkuk and Mosul,
fearing that a share of oil wealth and greater freedom within
a post-Saddam Iraq would embolden its own restive Kurdish
Rostam said there had been no offensive, but declared the
retreat by Saddam's forces as a victory for his people.
A group of young men rushed toward an old checkpoint
shouting "God be praised!". Children joined them to cross into
what was Saddam's soil.
Rostam said a few Kurdish villagers had already returned
to their homes in the abandoned territory.
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- Embargoed:12th April 2003 13:00