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posted on Mar, 30 2003 @ 02:09 AM


A British military source has reportedly said US forces closing in on Baghdad do not have the "overwhelming force" needed for urban warfare.

The source said resistance in Basra has shown Baghdad will be "tough to crack", Reuters reported.

The source said US forces could encircle the Iraqi capital within days but were wary of street fighting.

"The key thing is that US forces do not want to get involved in downtown fighting. It's all about applying pressure wth the result of the regime falling," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"Basra is very interesting to watch as a precursor, an example of how Baghdad will be tough to crack," the source added.

Analysts have said urban warfare runs the risk of high casualty rates for attacking ground forces.

It was earlier revealed that the US military plans to send another 100,000 troops to Iraq.

The moves comes amid reports US officials privately fear the war could last for months.

The Pentagon insists it is not short of troops in the battle zone. It said the additional deployment was always going to join the war.

But reports said American officials privately admit they underestimated the level of Iraqi resistance.

Iraq has said Coalition forces will have to fight their way into Baghdad street by street.

"The enemy must come inside Baghdad and that will be its grave," Iraq's Defence Minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed said.

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