Battle of Umm Qasr

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Battle of Umm Qasr
Part of 2003 Invasion of Iraq
M1abrams UmmQasr.JPG
U.S M1 Abrams tank fires its 120mm cannon at Iraqi forces during fighting near Umm Qasr, 23 March 2003
Date March 21–25, 2003
Location Umm Qasr, Iraq
Result Coalition victory
Belligerents
 Iraq United Kingdom 3 Commando Brigade
United States 15th MEU
Poland GROM
Commanders and leaders
N/A United Kingdom Brigadier Jim Dutton ADC[1]
Poland Roman Polko
Casualties and losses
30-40 killed
450 captured[2]
14 killed[3]

The Battle of Umm Qasr was the first military confrontation in the Iraq War. At the start of the war, one of the first objectives was the port of Umm Qasr. On March 21, 2003, as allied forces advanced across Southern Iraq, an amphibious landing force captured the new port area of Umm Qasr. The assault was spearheaded by Royal Marines of the British 3 Commando Brigade, augmented by Marines of the US 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Polish GROM troops. Iraqi forces in the old town of Umm Qasr put up unexpectedly strong resistance, requiring several days' fighting before the area was cleared of defenders.[4] The port was finally declared safe and reopened on March 25, 2003.

After the waterway was de-mined by a detachment from HM-14 and Naval Special Clearance Team ONE of the U.S. Navy and reopened, Umm Qasr played an important role in the shipment of humanitarian supplies to Iraqi civilians.[5]

Coalition minesweepers, including HMS Bangor,and HMS Sandown aided by divers, US Navy MH-53E helicopters, trained dolphins and seals, located the approach to the port and cleared it of mines, allowing RFA Sir Galahad to dock after a couple of days.

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