Forces of Valor UNI99009 Series 1: US Marines at Baghdad, 2003 - Lance Corporal Ford (1:32 Scale)
"Semper Fi!" (Always Faithful!)
- Motto of the US Marine Corps
The 2003 Battle of Baghdad was a battle that took place in early April 2003, as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
As the U.S. forces were occupying the Republican Palace and other central landmarks and ministries on April 9th, Saddam Hussein had emerged from his command bunker beneath the Al A'Zamiyah district of northern Baghdad, and greeted excited members of the local public. This impromptu walkabout was probably his last and his reasons for doing so are still unclear. It is possible that he wished to take what he thought might be his last opportunity to greet his people as their president. The walkabout was captured on film and broadcast several days after the event on Al-Arabia Television and was also witnessed by ordinary people who corroborated the date afterwards. He was accompanied by bodyguards and other loyal supporters including at least one of his sons and his personal secretary. After the walkabout, Hussein returned to his bunker and made preparations for his family.
The Americans had meanwhile started receiving rumors that Saddam was in Al A'Zamiyah and at dawn on April 10th, they dispatched three companies of US Marines to capture him. U.S. Marines fought a fierce four-hour battle at a Baghdad mosque where senior Iraqi leaders had been thought to be holed up, as US warplanes attacked areas of the city under the control of Arab fighters. "We had information that a group of regime leadership was attempting to organize...a meeting. The fighting in and around the mosque complex could not be avoided as enemy forces were firing from the area of the mosque." said Captain Frank Thorp. Marines came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and Kalashnikov assault rifles. One American Marine was killed and more than 20 were wounded, but neither Saddam nor any of his aids were found. Non-Iraqi Arab volunteer fighters were in control of several streets in the Aadhamiya district, where the mosque is located, and also in the nearby Waziriya district. Arab fighters were also out in force on the streets of the Mansur district west of the Tigris river, close to the Iraqi intelligence service headquarters. US planes swooped overhead, hitting targets in areas under Arab control. In the northeast of the capital, US Marines swept through the Saddam City district in the early hours, blasting forces still loyal to Saddam with heavy artillery, mortar and machine-gun fire. Planes buzzed the area in support of the marine units and soldiers reported seeing Iraqi anti-aircraft fire arching up into the night sky against the noisy but invisible aircraft. The area around Saddam City, home to about two million impoverished Shi'ite Muslims, was the marines' final objective on the eastern flank of the city center.
By late afternoon on April 12th, the last shots were fired in resistance to the Americans in Baghdad. One American soldier was killed on the last day of fighting. The battle for Baghdad was over, though insurgent (or resistance) forces continue to operate in Baghdad currently. Sold Out!