Iraqi Officers War Diary
When the coalition forces resumed control of the bases deserted by Saddam Hussein's troops, the Kuwaitis found a whole series of documents abandoned. No matter if they were on loose paper typed or hand-written, or if they bore the Iraqi millitary seal, all testify to the poor morale of the Baghdad troops.
This is a translation of one of those documents, which is the field journal of a young Iraqi lieutenant.
Tuesday 15 January 1991
Leave was suspended today for officers and men because of the end of the period. We are there and it is a historic right that was stolen from us when we could do nothing. The army is in a state of total alert to prepare itself against allied and American aggression expected againts our well-loved territory. I am very worried for my parents because i Know what these conditions represent for them. But God is good. We wish the war had not happened, but it has, so combat would be welcome.
Thusday 17 January 1991
"SAY THIS: ALL THAT HAPPENS IS WHAT God has decided for us" God has spoken truly. This morning at 2:45 a.m. I heard military aircraft. A few seconds later, the guard came in and told me in a voice tinged with caution, fear and consternation, "lieutenant, lieutenant, there may be bombing." I dressed quickly and then realised that the American and Atlantic attack against our country was starting and that the war had began. This is war, with all that the word implies. Afterwards, the enemy planes began their intensive bombing on the airfield that we have been assigned to defend, at As-Salman in Al-Matna province.
I am very worried. Rather I am very worried for my relatives. They are alone out there. And i know how afraid they are
O God! Protect
O God! Patience
O God! Save us all.
Friday 18 January 1991
Heavy ememy bombing continues. The bombing and raids kept up all last night.
Saturday 19 January 1991
Few enemy air raids today because of bad weather, and our missiles have been fired at Israel for the second time. I am very worried for my relatives.
Sunday 20 January 1991
The bombing and enemy raids began very early today. Air to ground missiles began to explode at 3: 30 a.m. this morning.
O God! Protect.
O God! Save us all.
Monday 21 January 1991
Few enemy raids today. Our military communiques say that the enemy has bombed most of the regions and provinces of Iraq with planes and missiles. I am constantly gripped by anxiety.
Tuesday 22 January 1991
Thanks be to God. Many thanks be given him. Dawn has come and no raids have taken place, at least not so far..... now heavy raids have begun again. God protect us! I went to the... of the...brigade at the bunker to move them to another place because of the raids and heavy bombing at the emplacement. When i got there, i found four bombs. The situation was very difficult, because we had to pass close by them. But God protects. What an awful sight: one of my soldiers disturbed one of the bombs and suddenly it exploded and the soldier disappeared and i saw two pieces of his flesh on the second story of the bunker. Allah aqbar. What a horrible thing to see. I went back to the regiment and found the section at another place. They had moved to safety.
Wednesday 23 January 1991
Threatening weather. Time drags. We wait and watch. I am very afraid for my brothers...are in Kuwait....Is in Fao and the nearby area. I am most afraid for...in the name of God the compassionate and merciful. We have built bulwarks around and behind them and they see nothing. (A verse from the Qur'an). Oh God, protect! Oh God save us! The planes came back to bomb again. They were close and we could see them. "If only i had wings.
Thursday 24 January 1991
The raids began early. They began at about 2: 30 a.m. today and have continued heavily without a let-up. I heard news that Basra has been bombed heavily. May God have come to help my relatives; I am very worried about them. How i want to see them and find out how they are! God is beneficent. Where are they now? God only knows.
Friday 25 January 1991
The raids stopped today and then started up again after sunset. Leave had been suspended but was granted again. But that doesn't help me because only 5 persent are given leave. The important thing is that they'e begun again. I sent a letter to my relatives and was so worried i forgot to ask about my children and about my sister, but i said hello to everybody. I ask God to protect them all.
Saturday 26 January 1991
Ememy air strikes continue, and I'm very worried, depressed and bored. I think about my children.
Sunday 27 January 1991
The air strikes began this morning. I learned before noon today that i have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant and that the decision reached Brigade headquarters after a delay of... weeks. This afternoon i got back the letter i had set to my relatives. It was returned to me because the soldier who was going to mail it didn't go on leave. I was very upset by this turn of events. My mind and heart are with my relatives, and only body is with the army. I very much need to see my relatives. I had a dream yesterday and it was not a good omen at all.
Monday 28 January 1991
The enemy air raids continue and i am in a shelter. The top if it is tent canvas. God protect us all. After sunset, a flock of sheep came up to us. Apparently the owner of the flock had been killed in the air raids. The enemy with his modern planes has launched air strikes of a shepherd. Maybe the enemy took the sheep for nuclear or chemical or petroleum sheep. for shame.
Tuesday January 1991
This evening, after a series of enemy air strikes and watching their flight over our territory, i decided to go to company HQ in the tank battalion that belongs to the armoured brigade, Iwent to sleep without eating. All the food i had was a little gruel and tea.
Wednesday 30 January 1991
The air strikes began heavily today and i am still alone. I could be killed at any moment. I am more afraid for my relatives than i am afraid to die. The air raids are nothing new to me, but i am very worried.
Thursday 31 January 1991
The attacks continue. Only one officer went on leave. It was... it was agreed that i would go on leave if war breaks out between Iraq on one side and 29 countries on the other. that is just not fair.
Saturday 2 February 1991
I was awakened this morning by noise of enemy air raid. I ran and hid in the nearby trench. I had breakfast and afterwards something indescibable happened. Two enemy planes came towards us and began firing at us, in turn, with missiles, machine guns and rockets. I was almost killed. Death was a yard away from me. The missiles, machine guns and rockets didn't let up. One of the rockets hit and pierced our shelter, which was penetrated by shrapnel. Over and over we said Allah. Allah. Allah. One tank burned and three other tanks belonging to 3rd Company, which we were wiyh, were destroyed. That was a very bad experience. Time passed and we waited to die. The munitions dump of the 68th Tank Battalion exploded. A connon shell fell on one of the soldiers' positions, but thank God, no one was there. The soldiers were somewhere else. The attack lasted about 15 minutes, but it seemed like a year to me. I read chapters in the Qur'an. How hard it is to be killed by someone you don't know, you've never seen and can't confront. He is in the sky and you're on the ground. Our ground resistance is magnificent. After the air raid, I gave great thanks to God and joined some soldiers to see how each of them was. While i was doing that, another air attack began. 2 February at 2000hrs.
3 February 1991
Few air raids today. The pain I've been having all the past 6 months has returned. I am sad. In the last 5 days I've eaten only a few dates and boiled lentils. What have we done to God to endure that? I have no news of my relatives. How can i, since i don't know what is happening to me.
What will become of me ? what is happening to them? i don't know. i don't know. God protect them. How i miss my children. I know that she is very very frightened. What happens to her when she hears the planes and missiles? I don't know.
P.S. 3 February 1991 at 2100 hours. While i was writing these lines, another air raid occurred.
Monday 4 February 1991