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Old 03-21-2003, 06:10 PM   #1
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Iraq Division surrenders


Pentagon sources have said Iraq's 51st Division has surrendered en masse to coalition forces.

The commander of the division is reported to have surrendered to US marines who were advancing through the desert towards Baghdad.

It is thought the commander was in the south of Iraq - possibly in Basra.

If true, it could mean that Basra has fallen to coalition forces and the threat of urban warfare in the city could be over.

With thousands of troops in each division, it would be the biggest mass surrender so far.

The number of troops within the 51st Division is not yet known.

Normal Iraqi divisions can contain up to 15,000, though many have been depleted by up to half since the first Gulf War.

The New York Times reported earlier from Kuwait that the division's two top officers had surrendered and that the division had virtually "melted away", with most of its troops deserting their posts.

In recent weeks, the unit has been peppered with tens of thousands of air-dropped leaflets calling on the Iraqi military to give themselves up.

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Not sure how accurate this is but I hope its true and other divisions follow suit
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