The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 28, 1991, Page 2, Image 2

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    By The
Associated Press
Edited by Jennifer O'Cilka
Saddam forces troops to fight
Saddam Hussein’s front line, though
hammered by allied air strikes and
manned by dispirited, lice-ridden
soldiers, can hold out for months,
senior allied officers fear.
“They will
fight because
they have no _
choice,” said a
Saudi officer
with access to
defecting Iraqis.
“They know
they might sur
vive a battle, but if they run they will
be shot.”
Like other senior Saudi officers,
he spoke frankly only when assured
of anonymity, fearful of contradict
ing official optimism. But he reflected
a view widely held among command
ers close to the front.
“Nothing about this is going to be
easy,” said Lt. Col. Hu Blazer, a U.S.
Army maintenance battalion com
mander who learned the hard way in
V ietnam the limits of air suppoit in a
ground war.
Group Capt. Niall Irving of Brit
ain’s Royal Air Force told reporters
Saturday of plans to house Iraqi pris
oners of war.
“I think we are anticipating huge
numbers—once (ground) operations
start or maybe even before — are
going to give themselves up fairly
Iraqis might surrender en masse
once their lines are penetrated and
control structures break down, allied
ground commanders say. Until then,
the allies expect a withering hail of
Iraqi artillery fire and rockets.
Treacherous minefields are de
signed not only to slow allied forces
from moving north but also to stop
Iraqis from fleeing south.
“Saddam has 4,000 Republican
Guards assigned to every division
whose job is to make sure the men
fight,” said a front-line Saudi officer.
“Troops can lake their choice, dying
in front or behind.”
The Republican Guards are the
elite core of the Iraqi army and arc
considered especially loyal to Sad
Clearly, the air war is taking a
heavy toll. Bombs from B-52s gouge
gaping craters, blasting away gun
emplacements and munitions stores.
Strafing raids disrupt Iraqi supply lines
and communications.
But many of Iraq’s 530,000 troops
in the Kuwait theater are secure in
hardened bunkers, and their 155mm
guns are capable of pinpoint accuracy
with conventional or chemical shells.
While U.S. forces are equipped
with old-style howitzers, loaded one
shell at a time by a burly “number
one man,” the Iraqis have French
made automatic howitzers.
Iraq’s Soviet-made T-72 tanks, with
laser-guided fire and heavy armor,
are a fair match for the Americans’
M-l Abrams tanks and their range is
longer than the older-model, smaller
U.S. M-60s.
U.S. Marine officers say the Iraqis
have built concentric sand berms, 12
foot-high walls, behind moats which
can be filled with flaming oil. Explo
sive butane tanks are buried under
likely tank routes.
A half million mines in two broad
belts form an outer defense, from the
Saudi-Iraqi border, and many more
are expected to be scattered on the
way toward inner fortifications at
Kuwait City.
A Saudi commander confirmed that
many Iraqis were prepared to defect,
and said those taken prisoner offered
little resistance when their enemy was
upon them.
In a briefing, Group Captain Irv
ing said Iraqi prisoners had been down
to one meal a day and one said he had
not seen meat in weeks. Many had
lice and open sores because they had
to get by on a single uniform.
But the Saudi officer warned against
interpreting this as a portent of quick
“Most of them know they won’t
win,” he said, “but they’re not going
to go away.”
He also noted that a large part of
Saddam’s army was well-trained and
motivated. Some take comfort in the
Islamic belief that a warrior martyred
in a holy war will earn a place in
Soviet captain
shoots Lithuanian
VILNIUS, U.S.S.R. - A Soviet army
captain shot a Lithuanian at a military
checkpoint Sunday, and officials of
the breakway republic said they have
begun keeping a record of brutality
inflicted on their citizens, a govern
ment spokesman said.
Government spokesman Audrius
Azubalis said a Soviet patrol stopped
the Lithuanian, who was driving a car
with two hitchhikers about 1 a.m.The
driver was asked to get out of the car
and put his hands on the windshield.
A shot fired at the ground by the
captain, apparently as a warning, rico
cheted and hit the man in the leg. The
Lithuanian, identified as A. Shalkin
gas, was taken to a Vilnius hospital
for treatment.
Azubalis also said the last of six
Lithuanians seized after a shooting
incident involving paratroopers Thurs
day was released, then taken to a
hospital for treatment of a concus
The Lithuanian Health Ministry
reported a similar case Saturday in
Kaunas, 60 miles west of Vilnius,
where a man detained Jan. 24 by the
military was released and taken to a
hospital suffering from a concussion,
arm fractures and chest injuries,
Azubalis said.
The commander of the Soviet Army
garrison had warned Saturday that his
troops were getting “more and more
out of control.”
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Tickets available at the
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Tickets may be subject to a service charge.
Environmental experts said there was no way to stop a mammoth oil
slick pouring from Iraqi-held Kuwait. The slick has already crept 70
miles south along the Saudi Arabian coast._
The oil slick threatens:
Fresh water: Desert states on the
IRAN Gulf's southern shore depend on
K U desalination plants that remove salt
from seawater to make it drinkable.
Fisheries: All the Gulf states fish its
fertile waters commercially for food.
Wildlife: The Gulf’s south
and west shores are lined
with ecologically
fragile wetlands.
O Riyadh
0 = Maior water
Hi 200 km. desalination
Six plants in Kuwait not sl»own.
Techniques used to battle oil spills:
Containment Skimmer Chemicals j
E Booms Boats
Wy \\|*<|| oil and Dispersants break up oil
Y Floating vacuum it slick, coagulating
booms form a ^BSSr UP from the agents gathers oil
ring around spill ^waters surface onto together or sink droplets
to contain the oil | coiie^’ion barges below the water's surface
Evaporation Bacteria Weather
Volatile ‘ A f
component of Tar balls ®
♦ the oil evaporate form from
5 f into the s? J? the haaviar Parts of the oil
•¥• ) atmosphere and sink to the bottom.
.. Wind and wave action
^} Bacterid consume emulsify some oil into the
some crude over time water forming *Mousso"
U.S. ground forces combat ready
before late February, official says
WASHINGTON - Defense Secre
ary Dick Cheney said Sunday that
U.S. forces will be ready for a ground
issault on Iraqi forces well “before
[he end of February.” The White House
ruled out financing Operation Desert
Storm with a new tax.
“We’ve always assumed that we
would eventually have to send in
ground forces,” Cheney said, all but
conceding that massive air strikes alone
won’t oust Saddam Hussein’s army
from Kuwait.
Cheney, interviewed on NBC’s
“Meet the Press,” said the U.S. de
ployment in the gulf is nearing the
half-million mark and is nearly com
“I would expect it’s a relatively
short period of time between now and
when they’d be combat ready,” he
But Cheney said the final go-ahead
for a ground war remains “a presiden
tial decision.”
In Lafayette Park, across from the
White House, only a few dozen anti
war demonstrators kept a vigil Sun
day, banging on drums and cans.
Discarded leaflets and signs gave the
only evidence of the crowd — esti
mated by police as 75,000 — that had
marched around the White House on
Bush’s senior advisers said the
president will not ask Congress to
enact a “war tax” to finance the U.S.
led military operations.
The president gives his State of the
Union address to a joint House-Sen
ate session on Tuesday evening and
will submit his budget for fiscal 1992
the following Monday.
Rebels sain control in Somalia I
NAIROBI, Kenya - Guerrillas on
Sunday won apparent control of
Somalia after a month of fighting
forced longtime President Mohamed
Siad Barre from his official residence.
A Western doctor whojust left Moga
dishu said rebels had taken over the
airport and main radio station.
Siad Barrc’s whereabouts remained
unknown. Reports from Somalia’s
capital said he may have fled to Kis
mayu, south of Mogadishu, one of the
few sections of the Horn of Africa
nation of 8 million believed still loyal
to him.
Celebrations broke out Saturday
night across Mogadishu after the rebels
drove Siad Barre from the presiden
tial mansion and seized slate radio;
on Sunday the guerrillas tightened
their grip by capturing the airport, the
last government stronghold, Dr. Marc
Gastello Etchcjorry said.
“The information from Mogadishu
is that the fighting has finished. There
is no more snooting,” said Etchcjorry.
“The rebels have announced that all
of the city is under their control.”
There was no independent confir
mation of the situation due to wide
spread communications problems.
The rebel United Somali Congress
said it seized control of Mogadishu at
8:30 p.m. Saturday.
‘‘Last night ... the government
and the responsibility of the Somali
people were taken over by the USC
movement. We arc addressing you
from Radio Mogadishu, the voice of
the Somali people,” said the rebels.
Net>raskan ]
Editor Eric Planner
472- 1766
Managing Editor Victoria Ayotte
Assoc News Editors Jana Padaraan
Emily Rosenbaum ■
Editorial Page Editor Bob Nelson
Wire Editor Jennifer O'ClIka
Professional Adviser Don Walton
473- 7301 I:
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