14 mai 2004, raport al guvernatoarei provinciei Dhi Qar

Raportul întocmit de guvernatoarea provinciei Dhi Qar, Barbara Contini, asediată în clădirea Autorităţii Provizorii a Coaliţiei (CPA) din Nasiriyah, a ajuns în ziua de 14 mai 2004, la Bagdad, la şefului autorităţii provizorii, diplomatul american Paul Bremer. De precizat că situaţia prezentată în raport este cea consemnată înainte de dimineaţa zilei de 14 mai când lucrurile au evoluat, cu o presiune mult mai mare a atacului insurgenţilor. Practic, toate căile de acces spre sediul CPA fuseseră blocate şi se aflau sub controlul Armatei Mahdi iar principala cale de acces devenise un adevărat „drum al morţii” dacă trupele italiene ar fi încercat să ajungă la sediul CPA unde se aflau sub asediu guvernatoarea Barbara Contini, viceguvernatorul provinciei, gărzi de corp, jurnalişti italieni şi angajaţi civili ai ONU sau CPA.

În urma acestui raport s-a decis operaţiunea complexă a Coaliţiei din noaptea de 14 spre 15 mai 2004, denumită de italieni „A doua bătălie pentru podurile din Nasiriyah”, misiune de luptă care a implicat nu doar trupele italiene şi efective importante ale Batalionul 26 Infanterie „Neagoe Basarab” ci şi o „fortăreaţă zburătoare” americană, o aeronavă Hercules AC-130, Forţele Aeriene ale SUA bombardând punctual poziţiile deţinute în oraş de insurgenţii din Armata Mahdi subordonată clericului radical Muqtada al-Sadr.

Raportul pe care îl prezint mai jos l-am obţinut în anul 2020, în luna octombrie. L-am primit atât în limba italiană cât şi în limba engleză. Raportul „de stare” prezintă situaţia existentă în ziua de 14 mai, zi în care guvernatoarea Barbara Contini se afla sub asediu în sediul CPA din Nasiriyah. De la întocmirea raportului şi până la declanşarea bătăliei din 14 spre 15 mai situaţia s-a deteriorat. Mai multe informaţii veţi găsi în carte.

Suport aerian USA Nasiriyah mai 2004

Sursă foto copertă: nationalinterest.org (aeronavă hercules AC-130). Fotografie folosită în articol: military.com.

Raport situaţie Nasiriyah: 14 mai 2004

„Riassunto fatti del 14 maggio quando mi trovavo a Bagdad per il solito meeting con l’Amb. Bremer e l’Amb. De Martino. Dopo questi fatti, altri 2 giorni di fuoco ed altri 60 mortai e 37 rpg7,  la decisione di farci evacuare il 17 notte.

La brigata e’ al corrente del totale disappunto di Bassora e Bagdad sulla mancata sicurezza della CPA Dhi Qar, unica in Iraq ad avere evacuato (Kut e’ rientrata subito dopo).

– Ma anche l’unica ad avere speso 15 milioni di dollari in 4 mesi;

– l’unica ad aver fatto 19 elezioni municipali e provinciali;

– una delle poche ad aver avuto grandi successi politici;

– una delle pochissime ad aver avuto le Nazioni Unite in loco per la preparazione delle elezioni della commissione elettorale;

– l’unica a lavorare fino al 29 giugno su progetti aperti;

– l’unica ad aumentare lo staff internazionale del 90% negli ultimi 4 mesi.

nonostante tutto.



Approximately 35 RPGs and perhaps 20 mortars were fired at CPA Nasiriyah last night apparently by the Jeish el Mehdi. No-one here was killed, two were injured. The Coalition Quick Reaction Force arrived seven hours after they told us they were on their way. There followed a brief lull. But armour inside the compound was not deployed, the assailants regained confidence and we continued to receive incoming fire well into daylight – nearly ten hours of continual attack. This symbolises a new self-confidence in a group which has normally hit and run.


If we are to remain in this building we require aggressive patrols (almost certainly including air assets) to shut down these mortar attacks. Such support, often promised, is yet to materialise. Without such protection, we expect emboldened assailants with serious quantities of mortars to soon take down our main building. We cannot, however, safely evacuate in the vehicles available so long as the town is controlled by men with RPGs. A dramatic change in the posture of local Coalition Forces is required before we can operate safely and effectively.


The Mehdi army began to appear on the streets of Nasiriyah two o’clock yesterday afternoon. There may not have been more than a hundred and fifty of them. By four they had seized the Governor’s new waterfront office and a few police stations and closed the souk. Some of them then began to appear in the forecourts of government offices on the main road leading from the river to the CPA. At half past six two pick-ups dropped men with RPGs and small-arms a block to the East of us. Just before dusk they began firing RPGs and small arms at our building. We were notified that the Italian Quick Reaction Force was on its way from Talil (half an hour’s drive away). Two hours later (just before ten) the first mortar rounds began landing inside out perimeter. One Filipino Triple Canopy Guard was wounded. They were apparently firing the mortars from a school three hundred meters away and had eyes on from men on the nearby hospital roof. They were, therefore, able to walk them up our front path quite elegantly, culminating in a large explosion five meters from our front door that blew over the sentries in the courtyard and smashed through the air-conditioning unit in the registry/computer room – now a bit of a mess. At this point our internet system went down and since the mobiles were already down, we began to report by Thuraya. The Quick Reaction Force had still not arrived.

Between ten at night and two in the morning approximately 20 RPGs and perhaps a dozen mortars were fired at our building. Another Filipino was injured. At 0200,  Italian troops fired their first anti-tank weapon at the mortar-base plate in the school. A lull followed. Then another mortar opened up. This one may have been less well-sited. Although some of the rounds continued to land in the perimeter they were falling further from the main building. The Quick Reaction Force, living up to its name, arrived shortly after three in the morning. The amount of firing implied they had a hard time crossing the bridge. They did not, however, take any casualties. The Italians had earlier suggested evacuating us that night back to Tallil. Since the streets were controlled by men with RPGS and the Italian armour is vulnerable to RPGs we declined this offer. We expected the QRF, therefore, to perform aggressive patrols and shut down the mortar positions of our assailants.

They drove three vehicles into the compound, unloaded more ammunition and twenty extra troops and loaded the vehicles with the wounded Filipinos. They also tried to load a gaggle of Italian journalists who had been caught in the compound. The journalists, however, concluded like us that it was safer to stay put.

We were concerned from the loading and the disposition of their armour outside the gate that the QRF intended to simply reinforce us with ammunition and troops and then drive back to Talil. There did not seem to be much evidence of patrols being prepared. We were assured, however, that two extra APCs would arrive and (together with the APCs on site) would drive out to respond aggressively to any further fire. Two extra APCs did indeed drive in.

The arrival of their armour gave the initiative firmly to the Italians and for the next period we received no incoming fire. But after half an hour, watchers would have observed three Italian APCs leave our compound and together with the eight or so heavier vehicles on the road turn West apparently leaving us and returning to Talil. We heard an immediate burst of heavier fire as the vehicles engaged on the Western road then one of the APCs was hit by an RPG. It was temporarily immobilised but there were no causalties and they got it moving again.

About ten minutes later we began to be fired on again with RPGs and mortars. We had little idea what the Italian armour was doing around our compound. From inside the troops responded with fire from their light and heavier (50 cal) weapons on the roof. This, however, did little to deter the attack. The new APCs to our surprise never left the compound. Over the next hour and a half there were another ten to fifteen explosions, most short of our compound to the South. At first light two mortars landed 200 m to our South and a little later one, a hundred metres to our East. We expected the firing to finish with the light. But as dawn broke another landed fifty meters to the South and then in full morning light two more landed before half past six. For the last forty-five minutes is has been quiet and ambulances have begun to arrive to pick up the citizens who were killed or injured last night.

Few of us slept last night so we will be closing the office this morning to rest and clear some of the debris. We would aim to reassess at midday whether to stay or go. This decision depends on the disposition of Coalition Forces. I received a call ten minutes ago from the Assistant Governor saying that the Jesh-el-Mehdi are roaming free and armed in large numbers in the centre of the town (the Habubi souk and Governorate area). We cannot risk our staff by driving them in lightly armoured vehicles through a town controlled by hostile forces armed with RPGs.

But to remain safe in this building we need aggressive patrols dominating the ground and making it uncomfortable for the mortars. Last night the CF posture here was highly defensive. The QRF arrived seven hours after we were told they were setting off. And we did not shoot the panzer-faust at the mortar position till about four hours after the mortars began. There was ample time for our enemies to walk the mortars straight onto the building and we were very surprised that they did not. Three or four direct hits would have killed people. We can only assume that they were not able to get hold of sufficient mortar rounds.

In addition to the Italian CF we have six US Triple Canopy security officers and six UK officers from CRG. These are highly experienced men with specialised military backgrounds. We fully understand that of course ultimate security responsibility lies with the Coalition Commander, General Chiarini. But it is their view that we cannot have a repeat of last night. They believe that we need air assets to counter the mortars (including thermal imagery and drones) and most importantly a genuine QRF based in this compound but patrolling aggressively out of it. I agree strongly with their opinion. These points have been made repeatedly over the last month. We have received a number of assurances that this would happen.

But we are perpetually disappointed and remain in serious danger.”

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