|Battle of Al Kut (2003)|
|Part of 2003 Invasion of Iraq|
|Commanders and leaders|
|unknown||Col. Joe W. Dowdy|
|Numerous elements of the Medina division||Part of the 1st Marine Division|
|Casualties and losses|
Heavy. Many T-62 tanks, APC's, and Mk83's destroyed.At least 150-250 killed.
1 soldier killed
The Battle of Al Kut was an armed confrontation between elements of the United States military and Iraqi forces during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
Before the 2003 invasion, Al Kut was home to an Iraqi airfield and suspected chemical weapons plant, thus making it an important target during the invasion. Al Kut lay in the way of the planned Coalition advanced into Baghdad.
On April 3, 2003, the 1st Marine Division reached the outskirts of Al Kut, and broadcast a warning to the Iraqi defenders there, ordering them to surrender by 0700 GMT. The deadline passed with no response, and the US launched their assault on Al Kut.
On April 3, several US military units advanced into Al Kut, meeting little resistance until they closed in within 1000 yards of their objectives. At that point, Iraqi soldiers and irregulars opened fire with small arms and RPG's. Fearing a close-quartered urban battle, the US forces remained on the outskirts of the city, returning fire and killing many defenders. Numerous air strikes, including a B-52 strike, were launched on the Iraqi defenses. Numerous GBU-16 missiles were fired from US warplanes, destroying many Iraqi T-62 tanks, Mk83's, and support vehicles.
On the ground, American soldiers were briefly pinned down by gunfire from an Iraqi bunker, where numerous Iraqi infantry had gathered. The gunfire was answered by numerous tank rounds and heavy machine gun fire, and after four hours the bunker's defenders had been killed, injured, or captured. One US soldier, Corporal Mark Evnin, was killed during the battle when he was mortally wounded by enemy machine gun fire.
In a last attempt to drive off the attackers, Iraqi soldiers attempted to charge the American tanks with small arms and machine guns, but were cut down American fire, and the 1st Marine Division advanced into Al Kut. After capturing the city and it's bridges, Al Kut was effectively under US control. Several militants of the Fedayeen Saddam continued to hold out within isolated pockets in the city, but no major Iraqi forces now opposed the American drive into Baghdad.
American losses during the battle numbered at least 1 dead, about a dozen wounded, and 1 ACE truck destroyed. Iraqi losses are unclear, but were described as "heavy", with at least 150-250 killed and nearly a thousand wounded.
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