Monday, March 24
Fedayeen force pushes Iraqi army
By Martin Lumb, BBC News Online, March 24, 2003
Saddam Hussein's army may, on paper, be one of the biggest in the world but it is a small group of irregulars - the Fedayeen - which has been providing much of the resistance to the advancing Americans.
Intensely loyal to Saddam Hussein, the war has given it the opportunity to rise far above the role of ruthless political enforcer which it originally held.
American commanders say the Fedayeen has stiffened the resolve of regular army commanders through intimidation, refusing to allow them to surrender, and providing the manpower for harassment and sniping on enemy columns.
Western intelligence believes the Fedayeen to number between 30,000 to 40,000 young people.
It began in Saddam Hussein's home region of Tikrit and recruited only from loyalist areas. [...]