Coalition Forces Enter Iraq

Shortly after the SCUD attack which killed 28 US troops in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. VII Corps assembled in full strength and, spearheaded by the 3rd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3/2 ACR), launched an armoured attack into Iraq early Sunday, February 24, just to the west of Kuwait, taking Iraqi forces by surprise. Simultaneously, the U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps launched a sweeping “left-hook” attack across the largely undefended desert of southern Iraq, led by the 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) and the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). The left flank of this movement was protected by the French 6th Light Armoured Division Daguet. The French force quickly overcame the Iraqi 45th Infantry Division, suffering only a handful of casualties and taking a large number of prisoners, and took up blocking positions to prevent an Iraqi counter-attack on the Coalition flank. The right flank of the movement was protected by the British 1st Armoured Division. Once the allies had penetrated deep into Iraqi territory, they turned eastward, launching a flank attack against the Republican Guard before it could escape. As the U.S. tanks approached the Dug-in tanks of the Republican Guard, one tank fired, destroying an Iraqi tank. Seconds later, other tanks opened fire. The battle lasted only a few hours. 50 Iraqi armored vehicles were destroyed, with few American losses.