Russia provided Saddam Hussein with intelligence on US military moves in the opening days of the US-led invasion in 2003, a Pentagon report has said.
Russia passed the details through its Baghdad ambassador, the report said. Russia has not commented on the claim. One piece of intelligence passed on was false, and in fact helped a key US deception effort, the report concluded.
The report also quoted an Iraqi memo which mentioned Russian “sources” at the US military headquarters in Qatar. “The information that the Russians have collected from their sources inside the American Central Command in Doha is that the United States is convinced that occupying Iraqi cities are [sic] impossible,” said the Iraqi document, quoted by the Pentagon report.
The false intelligence apparently passed on by Russia concerned the date the US was likely to start its main attack on Baghdad.A document from the Iraqi foreign minister to Saddam Hussein, dated 2 April 2003, and quoting Russian intelligence, said the attack would not begin until the Army’s 4th Infantry Division arrived about 15 April. This reinforced an impression that the US military were trying to create, in order to catch Iraqis by surprise with an earlier attack, the Pentagon report said.
[…] The report also said Saddam Hussein’s inept military leadership was a key factor in the defeat of his forces. “The largest contributing factor to the complete defeat of Iraq’s military forces was the continued interference by Saddam (Hussein),” it said. The BBC’s Pentagon correspondent, Adam Brookes, says that overall the report portrays Saddam Hussein as chronically out of touch with reality – preoccupied with the prevention of domestic unrest and with the threat posed by Iran.
The 210-page report – Iraqi Perspectives Project – aims to help US officials understand in hindsight how the Iraqi military prepared for and fought during the invasion. There are both classified and unclassified versions of the report.