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Tin tức trên báo Mỹ năm 1970

The New York Times

The San Bernardino Sun


SAIGON ARTILLERY AIDED CAMBODIANS

March 18, 1970

https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/18/archives/saigon-artillery-aided-cambodians-help-is-reported-to-have-been.html

CHAUDOC, South Vietnam, March 17 — Cambodian troops tried to drive a Vietcong battal ion back across the border into South Vietnam yesterday and Sunday and called in South Vietnamese artillery fire to help, highly reliable informants reported today.

A Cambodian officer was in radio contact with the chief of South Vietnam's Anphu Dis trict, adjoining Cambodia, dur ing the entire operation, these informants said. The officer di rected 105‐mm artillery fire from the district's guns onto both sides of the border where the Vietcong were reported moving.

American officials said it was the first time they knew of Cambodians and South Vietna mese working openly together against the Vietcong.

[In Moscow, Prince Noro dom Sihanouk of Cambodia said that the anti‐Communist demonstrations in Pnompenh would not affect his country's neutrality. Page 12.]

The Cambodian military op eration was the second known Ito have been launched Sunday against Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces which had been ordered by Cambodia to leave her territory by dawn Sunday.

For four hours before the deadline a Cambodian battalion was reported to have exchanged fire with infantrymen guarding the base of the North Vietna mese First Infantry Division around Nui O, a mountain in Cambodia.

South Vietnamese forces were not called in then. But their aid was sought later Sunday when a force estimated at five companies of Cambodian in fantry men reportedly began pushing south toward the An phu District, which thrusts like a finger into Cambodia along the Mekong River.

The Vietcong were known to have at least 400 soldiers in base area just opposite the tip of Anphu. There are an esti mated 40,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers in Cam bodia.

South Vietnamese spotter planes reported “large‐scale troop movement” in Cambodia and the sound of shooting across the border. Americans here say that approximately 2,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers are on the Cambodian side.

Early in the afternoon the Anphu district chief reportedly made radio contact with a Cam bodian officer and got details of the military operation.

Later in the day the Cam bodian officer asked for artil lery support from Anphu, ac cording to informants here, and the support began within a few hours. Several 105‐mm, howit zers, firing on both sides of the border with target coordi nates given by the Cambodian officer, were used steadily for the next two days, the i form ants said.

Only a small proportion of Cambodia's 5,000‐man army is known to be stationed in the southern border area. Ameri cans say they know the loca tion of 20 border outposts op posite Chaudoc. They believe most of these posts are manned by policemen.

“I wish we knew what the Cambodians are really trying to do over there,” commented one United States official. “We just want some advance word on whether we can expect couple more thousand Vietcong around us in the near future.”

While the use of South Viet namese artillery called in by a Cambodian officer is believed to be unprecedented, there have been reports that Cambodian and South Vietnamese ground troops have worked together.

The last time South Vietna mese and Cambodian forces were said to have cooperated was last May, when they con ducted parallel sweeps against the Vietcong along the border in southern Tayninh Province, northwest of Saigon.

There were suggestions at that time that the United States 25th Infantry Division might also become involved by offer ing artillery fire to the Cam bodians on request. The Amer icans were willing, but as far as is known the firing never took place.


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SAIGON ARTILLERY AIDED CAMBODIANS


AMERICAN PLANE, SAIGON ARTILLERY HELP CAMBODIANS

By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times

March 21, 1970

https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/21/archives/american-plane-saigon-artillery-help-cambodians-border-outpost.html

ANPHU, South Vietnam, March 20—An American spotter plane and South Vietnamese ar tillery were called in by a Cam bodian Army commander today during a two‐hour battle against Vietcong troops inside Cam bodia.

While Cambodian and South Vietnamese officers exchanged instructions on American‐sup plied radios, the American plane provided aerial recon naissance and a battery of South Vietnamese howitzers pounded enemy positions just across the border.

The clash erupted about mid day during a sweep of a Viet cong sanctuary by a Cambodian force of battalion size about 10 miles north of this district capi tal.

The battle appeared to be the most determined Cambodian ef fort yet to drive the Vietcong out of border areas.

Cambodia Urged Withdrawal

The allied participation in the fight reflected a decision to make the most of the cur rent differences between the Cambodians and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong units that have used their territory as a safe haven and a supply route for years.

Last week, following a series of demonstrations against the presence of North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces in Cam bodia, the Government in Pnom penh asked that the forces be withdrawn. On Wednesday Prince Norodom Sihanouk was ousted as Chief of State in coup d'etat led by an anti‐Com munist general.

The South Vietnamese dis trict chiefs along the border in Chaudoc province have been ordered in recent days to pro vide all possible assistance short of troops to the Cambo dian units operating across the border. The United States mili tary advisers stationed in the border districts have been di rected to attempt to establish communications with the Cam bodian commanders on the other side.

Spotters Offered

In addition, Maj. Gen. Nguyen Viet Thanh, the South Viet namese IV Corps military com mander, today authorized his commanders to provide forward, artillery spotters for the Cam‐, bodians if they are requested., These Vietnamese spotters, from positions on the border, would attempt to track the movements, of enemy units and call in South Vietnamese artillery if request ed by Cambodian commanders.

The order of the Vietnamese district chiefs was issued Wednesday night by Col. Tran Van Hue, the chief of Chaudoc Province, a few hours after news was received of the coup d'état in Cambodia.

The directive to the American advisers was issued by the United States command in Sai gon yesterday, reliable sources said taday. Previously the Americans working near the border here and in other prov inces were under orders not to communicate with Cambodian commanders for fear of diplo matic complications. Now they are encouraged to do so, either directly or through the local Vietnamese officials.

The American hope is that the advisers and the South Viet namese will be able to get valu able intelligence from the Cam bodians on Vietcong movements and occasionally catch the enemy troops in a pincers movement as they attempt to cross the border. About 2,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops are thought to be posi tioned opposite Chaudoc alone. In all, some 25,000 enemy sol diers are believed to be oper ating in Cambodia's eastern provinces.

“We can't help but benefit from this situation as long as it lasts,” a senior American ad iviser said here today. “At least for the moment, we have the Vietcong in a bind, and we plan to make the most of it.”

Two days ago, to improve communications across the bor der, the Anphu district chief, Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat. sent a two‐way radio set to the commander of the Cam bodian outpost immediately across the border. The two men have been in constant com. munication since, talking in Vietnamese, which most Cam bodians in the border area. speak fluently. The radio was provided by the Americans.

At 3 A.M. today the Cam bodian outpost came under at tack by a Vietcong force esti mated at a company, or 150 men. The Cambodianer fought back, and in the midst of the battle the outpost commander called Colonel Chat on the radio and asked for help. Moments later, the Anphu howitzers roared out, firing illuminating shells that burst in the air over the outpost. Exposed by the glaring phosphorous light, the Vietcong withdrew. Two Cam bodian soldiers were reported killed and five were reported wounded in the battle. No Viet cong casualties were found.

Shortly after dawn, the Cam bodian battalion commander was on the radio again. He told Colonel Chat that he was beginning a sweep of the area and requested that an observa tion plane circle overhead to spot any enemy movement.

The plane was provided, and a few minutes before noon, enemy soldiers were sighted. The commander again asked for and received the support of the howitzers. The shelling which shattered the midday quiet of this dusty town, continued for about an hour but there were no immediate reports of casualties suffered by either side.

American and South Vietnam ese officials are still unclear as to whether the Cambodian commanders along the border are acting on their own initia tive in trying to drive out the Vietcong, or on orders from the new Government in Pnom Penh. Lieut. Gen. Lon Nol, who took over as Premier Wednes day, is known as a nationalist and a pragmatic anti‐Commu nist, whereas Prince Sihanouk, a neutralist, alternated be tween anti‐American and anti Vietcong statements.

The sources here said today's operation was the first coordi nated action between allied and Cambodian forces against the Vietcong since the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk. Officials said reports published Wednesday of South Vietnamese artillery pro viding support for Cambodian units earlier in the week were erroneous. They said no artil lery support had been sought or granted before today.

Comment by Saigon

SAIGON, March 20 (AP)—The Government denied today that South Vietnamese artillery had provided support for Cambodian troops earlier this week, but United States and South Viet namese officials in Chaudoc confirmed the incidents.

Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky also confirmed the reports in a talk with reporters, but he said that the actions were un official and that such support had been given only in isolated cases.


Raids on Reds in Cambodia By Saigon Planes Reported

By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times

March 26, 1970

https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/26/archives/raids-on-reds-in-cambodia-by-saigon-planes-reported-saigon-raids-on.html

SAIGON, South Vietnam, March 25—South Vietnamese Air Force planes have struck inside Cambodia at least twice in the last week, in support of Cambodian Army operations against the Vietcong, reliable sources said today.

On Friday, March 20, and again on Monday of this week, South Vietnamese A1‐E fighter bombers attacked positions be lieved to have been occupied by the enemy a few miles inside Cambodia across from Anphu district in Chaudoc Province.

[In Pnompenh, Prince Siso wath Sirik Matak, the First Deputy Premier, disclosed that the Cambodian Govern ment had received notifica tion from North Vietnam and the Vietcong that they were recalling their diplomats from Cambodia. Page 17.]

Both South Vietnamese strikes had been requested by the Cambodian area command ers in meetings with the Anphu district chief, Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat. The meetings were held in a mud‐walled outpost on the Cambodian side of the border.

In addition, South Viet namese artillery batteries have provided close combat support for Cambodian units on at least four occasions since March 16, the sources said.

More than 100 rounds have been fired in Cambodia by the 155‐mm howitzers based in the Anphu district capital during that time.

The air strikes represent the most dramatic example of cross‐border cooperation be tween South Vietnamese and Cambodian troops since the overthrow last week of Prince Norodom Sihanouk as the Cam bodian Chief of State.

During the last 10 days, Cam bodian troops have conducted a battalion‐size sweep opera tiùn on their side of the border in an apparent effort to drive the North Vietnamese and Viet cong units across the South Vietnamese border.

Communist troops have long used the eastern provinces of Cambodia as sanctuaries and supply bases for their opera tions in South Vietnam. The new Government in Pnompenh is seeking the evacuation of the North Vietnamese and Vietcong from Cambodian territory.

According to reliable sources, United States involvement the cross‐border cooperation against the Vietcong has been limited to the use of spotter aircraft. No American troops have been involved in the oper ations, nor has American artil lery been used, it was said.

French ‐ speaking advisers, however, have participated in several of the meetings be tween Cambodian and South Vietnamese officials on the Cambodian side of the border, the informants said.

In the meetings, the Cam bodians are reported to have proposed that Cambodian and South Vietnamese troops coop erate in a large‐scale sweep of the known Vietcong base areas just across the border. The Cambodian commanders are said to have suggested that the South Vietnamese troops operate as a blocking force to trap the Vietcong as they escape across the border. At no time have they asked the South Vietnamese troops to operate on the Cambodian side of the bor deer.

They have, however, recommended that the areas in Cambodia be “softened up” by advance air strikes.

The sources said that the Cambodians had proposed that napalm be used as well as teams of helicopter gunships.

It is not known whether the South Vietnamese command has agreed to participate in such large‐scale joint operations or to provide anything beyond air strikes and artillery.

A spokesman for the South Vietnamese Army said today that the local commanders had already been authorized to pro vide artillery support and ex change intelligence information with the Cambodians but so far not to commit troops.

Such a decision would presumably have to be made by th the South Vietnamese Joint General Staff.

In general, the South Vietnamese are anxious to exploit the current differences between the Cambodians and the Vietcong and to do everything possible to assist the Cambodians in their military operations.

The Americans here are reluc tant to become involved in any thing that might involve a widening of the war or compromise the professed neutrality of the new Government in Pnompanh.

As a result, the United States command is probably advising against extensive South Vietnamese military activity across the border.

Air strikes called in during the last week are not the first by allied planes. On several previous occasions allied planes have struck back at after having received artillery fire from the Cambodian side of the border.

In these instances, however, the Cambodians protested, the allied actions and demanded reparations for the damage caused by them.


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Raids on Reds in Cambodia By Saigon Planes Reported


Saigon's Raid in Cambodia Stirs U.S. Aides' Concern

By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times

April 1, 1970

https://www.nytimes.com/1970/04/01/archives/saigons-raid-in-cambodia-stirs-us-aides-concern.html

SAIGON, South Vietnam, Wednesday, April 1—The South Vietnamese Army's penetration of Cambodian territory last week has caused considerable concern among United States diplomats here.

Senior members of the Unit ed States mission are worried that if the South Vietnamese continue to conduct sweeps across the Cambodian border, they will threaten the neutral ity of the new regime in Pnom penh and complicate American efforts to stay out of the Cam bodian crisis.

On the other hand, the South Vietnamese appear eager to ex ploit the changing situation.

“We see the present situa tion as an opportunity,” an aide in the Presidential Palace said today, “and we are not nearly so concerned as the embassy about the diplomatic complica tions.”

The operation last weekend, in which three battalions of South Vietnamese troops at tacked sanctuary two miles in side Cambodia with Cambodian Army cooperation, caught the United States embassy here by surprise.

Planned by South Vietnam

Reliable sources said that the sweep had been planned and executed by the South Vietna mese alone, without the knowl edge or consent of the United States mission here.

“The South Vietnamese never informed us of the opera tion or asked for our approval,” a ranking American source said today, “probably because they knew in advance what our an swer would be. Coming so quickly after President Nixon's statements about limiting Amer ican involvement and respect ing Cambodian, neutrality, we would have had to say no.”

Most of all, the United States officials here are concerned about the impact that future South Vietnamese operations across the border may have of American public opinion.

“It would open us to the charge of widening the war,” one official said. “That's the last thing the Administration wants at this point.”

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The diplomats also fear a strong reaction by Hanoi against the new Government in Pnom penh, particularly when Cambo dian troops are involved.

As a result, caution has been urged on the South Vietnarnese. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker saw President Nguyen Van Thieu on March 24 and again yesterday.

Some members of the United States military command in Sai gon said that they had had suspicions that the South Viet namese were going to push the operation beyond the border last Friday. But they appar ently did not pass those sus picions along to the embassy or Washington; both were caught unprepared by the initial news reports.

The South Vietnamese, how ever, continue to want to get at the sanctuaries across the Cambodian border, which are believed to contain 20,000 to 30,000 enemy troops and tons of supplies.

Many South Vietnamese com manders, particularly those re sponsible for the border areas, arc urging further sweeps through the sanctuaries.

A number of American com manders also believe that the Communist effort in the South can be crippled if the Cambo dian sanctuaries are denied to the enemy. Some officers be lieve that North Vietnam would be forced to sue for peace within six months if it lost its Cambodian supply routes and hideouts.

The top American diplomats here are far more skeptical. They believe that short‐term gains from South Vietnamese actions would be outweighed by the political disadvantages.

This military‐civilian division of opinion follows lines that have become traditional in South Vietnam. The hawks have been concentrated in “Pentagon East,” as the military headquarters is called, while the doves, such as they are, have been in the Embassy.

The diplomats here, for the most part, have abandoned any hope of a military victory in South Vietnam. Some command ers, however, still nurture that hope, and tend to act upon likely opportunities.

The operation last weekend marked the first time that South Vietnamese troops had crossed the Cambodian frontier in strength, except in so‐called hot pursuit.

On Friday and again on Sat urday, South Vietnamese Rang ers in a long column of ar mored personnel carriers pene trated at least two miles into Cambodian territory. Two bat talions of Cambodian Army troops served as a blocking force. The operation ended Sun day night, with 94 Vietcong reported killed and 3 reported captured.

The “suspicions” of some thing unusual apparently came up through military channels from the American advisers working with the South Viet namese forces on the planning of the operation. The advisers were never told directly that the operation would be extend ed into Cambodia, but they de duced it.

The unprecedented South Vietnamese‐Cambodian coordi nation resulted from five meet ings of border officials held be tween March 18, the day of the Cambodian coup d'état, and March 26.

Held in Mud‐Walled Post

The meetings were held in a mud‐walled Cambodian Army outpost just across the border at the northwestern tip of Anphu District, on the edge of the Bassac River. The South Vietnamese representative was Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat, the Anphu District chief, who had met periodically in the past with a Lieutenant Ean, the Cambodian outpost commander.

Reliable sources give the following chronology of their contacts. On the initiative of Lieutenant Ean, the two men met the night of the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk and discussed possible military cooperation against the Viet cong. They met a second time at noon March 20, this time accompanied by a French s?eaking American military ad viser to Colonel Chat.

Lieutenant Ean reported at the second meeting that his men were in contact with a Vietcong force estimated at 300 men in the nearby Paknam Forest and asked for air and artillery sup port from the South Viet namese. Within two hours, Vietnamese Air Force planes struck at the enemy positions, roughly two miles inside Cam bodia, and Vietnamese artillery began shelling the target. It was the first time Vietnamese airstrikes had been provided for the Cambodians.

On March 21, Colonel Chat again crossed the border, this time to meet a delegation of Cambodian officers headed by Maj. Ly Khieng, the Cambodian chief for military affairs of Kandal Province. Altogether there were 13 Cambodian offi cers at the meeting, including Lieutenant Ean.

At this and a subsequent meeting the next morning, the Cambodian delegation proposed that a large joint operation be mounted, involving two bat talions of Cambodian forces and at least two Vietnamese bat talions, against the Vietcong sanctuary in the Paknam Forest.

The Cambodians recom mended that the area, which is believed to be unpopulated except for the enemy, be sub jected to artillery and air strikes. They specifically sug gested that napalm would be effective because of the dense woods.

Tentative agreement on the operation was reached at this morning meeting, which was witnessed by 30 Cambodian Army soldiers in fatigues and 20 Cambodian militiamen in pajama‐like uniforms. All of the Cambodian soldiers carried AK 47 rifles.

A fifth and final meeting on he operation was held at 9 A.M: on March 26 and the op ?ration was launched at 3 A.M. on the 27th.

For the record, the South Vietnamese authorities have re used to acknowledge that their troops crossed the border. But ?rivately, they seem eminently ?leased with the results.

# Tin tức trên báo Mỹ năm 1970 ## The New York Times ## The San Bernardino Sun ---- # SAIGON ARTILLERY AIDED CAMBODIANS ###March 18, 1970 https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/18/archives/saigon-artillery-aided-cambodians-help-is-reported-to-have-been.html CHAUDOC, South Vietnam, March 17 — Cambodian troops tried to drive a Vietcong battal ion back across the border into South Vietnam yesterday and Sunday and called in South Vietnamese artillery fire to help, highly reliable informants reported today. A Cambodian officer was in radio contact with the chief of South Vietnam's Anphu Dis trict, adjoining Cambodia, dur ing the entire operation, these informants said. The officer di rected 105‐mm artillery fire from the district's guns onto both sides of the border where the Vietcong were reported moving. American officials said it was the first time they knew of Cambodians and South Vietna mese working openly together against the Vietcong. [In Moscow, Prince Noro dom Sihanouk of Cambodia said that the anti‐Communist demonstrations in Pnompenh would not affect his country's neutrality. Page 12.] The Cambodian military op eration was the second known Ito have been launched Sunday against Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces which had been ordered by Cambodia to leave her territory by dawn Sunday. For four hours before the deadline a Cambodian battalion was reported to have exchanged fire with infantrymen guarding the base of the North Vietna mese First Infantry Division around Nui O, a mountain in Cambodia. South Vietnamese forces were not called in then. But their aid was sought later Sunday when a force estimated at five companies of Cambodian in fantry men reportedly began pushing south toward the An phu District, which thrusts like a finger into Cambodia along the Mekong River. The Vietcong were known to have at least 400 soldiers in base area just opposite the tip of Anphu. There are an esti mated 40,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers in Cam bodia. South Vietnamese spotter planes reported “large‐scale troop movement” in Cambodia and the sound of shooting across the border. Americans here say that approximately 2,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers are on the Cambodian side. Early in the afternoon the Anphu district chief reportedly made radio contact with a Cam bodian officer and got details of the military operation. Later in the day the Cam bodian officer asked for artil lery support from Anphu, ac cording to informants here, and the support began within a few hours. Several 105‐mm, howit zers, firing on both sides of the border with target coordi nates given by the Cambodian officer, were used steadily for the next two days, the i form ants said. Only a small proportion of Cambodia's 5,000‐man army is known to be stationed in the southern border area. Ameri cans say they know the loca tion of 20 border outposts op posite Chaudoc. They believe most of these posts are manned by policemen. “I wish we knew what the Cambodians are really trying to do over there,” commented one United States official. “We just want some advance word on whether we can expect couple more thousand Vietcong around us in the near future.” While the use of South Viet namese artillery called in by a Cambodian officer is believed to be unprecedented, there have been reports that Cambodian and South Vietnamese ground troops have worked together. The last time South Vietna mese and Cambodian forces were said to have cooperated was last May, when they con ducted parallel sweeps against the Vietcong along the border in southern Tayninh Province, northwest of Saigon. There were suggestions at that time that the United States 25th Infantry Division might also become involved by offer ing artillery fire to the Cam bodians on request. The Amer icans were willing, but as far as is known the firing never took place. --- https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SBS19700318.1.5&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1 Page 5 [SAIGON ARTILLERY AIDED CAMBODIANS](https://i.imgur.com/PQH5tXO.png) --- # AMERICAN PLANE, SAIGON ARTILLERY HELP CAMBODIANS ###By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times ###March 21, 1970 https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/21/archives/american-plane-saigon-artillery-help-cambodians-border-outpost.html ANPHU, South Vietnam, March 20—An American spotter plane and South Vietnamese ar tillery were called in by a Cam bodian Army commander today during a two‐hour battle against Vietcong troops inside Cam bodia. While Cambodian and South Vietnamese officers exchanged instructions on American‐sup plied radios, the American plane provided aerial recon naissance and a battery of South Vietnamese howitzers pounded enemy positions just across the border. The clash erupted about mid day during a sweep of a Viet cong sanctuary by a Cambodian force of battalion size about 10 miles north of this district capi tal. The battle appeared to be the most determined Cambodian ef fort yet to drive the Vietcong out of border areas. Cambodia Urged Withdrawal The allied participation in the fight reflected a decision to make the most of the cur rent differences between the Cambodians and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong units that have used their territory as a safe haven and a supply route for years. Last week, following a series of demonstrations against the presence of North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces in Cam bodia, the Government in Pnom penh asked that the forces be withdrawn. On Wednesday Prince Norodom Sihanouk was ousted as Chief of State in coup d'etat led by an anti‐Com munist general. The South Vietnamese dis trict chiefs along the border in Chaudoc province have been ordered in recent days to pro vide all possible assistance short of troops to the Cambo dian units operating across the border. The United States mili tary advisers stationed in the border districts have been di rected to attempt to establish communications with the Cam bodian commanders on the other side. Spotters Offered In addition, Maj. Gen. Nguyen Viet Thanh, the South Viet namese IV Corps military com mander, today authorized his commanders to provide forward, artillery spotters for the Cam‐, bodians if they are requested., These Vietnamese spotters, from positions on the border, would attempt to track the movements, of enemy units and call in South Vietnamese artillery if request ed by Cambodian commanders. The order of the Vietnamese district chiefs was issued Wednesday night by Col. Tran Van Hue, the chief of Chaudoc Province, a few hours after news was received of the coup d'état in Cambodia. The directive to the American advisers was issued by the United States command in Sai gon yesterday, reliable sources said taday. Previously the Americans working near the border here and in other prov inces were under orders not to communicate with Cambodian commanders for fear of diplo matic complications. Now they are encouraged to do so, either directly or through the local Vietnamese officials. The American hope is that the advisers and the South Viet namese will be able to get valu able intelligence from the Cam bodians on Vietcong movements and occasionally catch the enemy troops in a pincers movement as they attempt to cross the border. About 2,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops are thought to be posi tioned opposite Chaudoc alone. In all, some 25,000 enemy sol diers are believed to be oper ating in Cambodia's eastern provinces. “We can't help but benefit from this situation as long as it lasts,” a senior American ad iviser said here today. “At least for the moment, we have the Vietcong in a bind, and we plan to make the most of it.” Two days ago, to improve communications across the bor der, the Anphu district chief, Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat. sent a two‐way radio set to the commander of the Cam bodian outpost immediately across the border. The two men have been in constant com. munication since, talking in Vietnamese, which most Cam bodians in the border area. speak fluently. The radio was provided by the Americans. At 3 A.M. today the Cam bodian outpost came under at tack by a Vietcong force esti mated at a company, or 150 men. The Cambodianer fought back, and in the midst of the battle the outpost commander called Colonel Chat on the radio and asked for help. Moments later, the Anphu howitzers roared out, firing illuminating shells that burst in the air over the outpost. Exposed by the glaring phosphorous light, the Vietcong withdrew. Two Cam bodian soldiers were reported killed and five were reported wounded in the battle. No Viet cong casualties were found. Shortly after dawn, the Cam bodian battalion commander was on the radio again. He told Colonel Chat that he was beginning a sweep of the area and requested that an observa tion plane circle overhead to spot any enemy movement. The plane was provided, and a few minutes before noon, enemy soldiers were sighted. The commander again asked for and received the support of the howitzers. The shelling which shattered the midday quiet of this dusty town, continued for about an hour but there were no immediate reports of casualties suffered by either side. American and South Vietnam ese officials are still unclear as to whether the Cambodian commanders along the border are acting on their own initia tive in trying to drive out the Vietcong, or on orders from the new Government in Pnom Penh. Lieut. Gen. Lon Nol, who took over as Premier Wednes day, is known as a nationalist and a pragmatic anti‐Commu nist, whereas Prince Sihanouk, a neutralist, alternated be tween anti‐American and anti Vietcong statements. The sources here said today's operation was the first coordi nated action between allied and Cambodian forces against the Vietcong since the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk. Officials said reports published Wednesday of South Vietnamese artillery pro viding support for Cambodian units earlier in the week were erroneous. They said no artil lery support had been sought or granted before today. Comment by Saigon SAIGON, March 20 (AP)—The Government denied today that South Vietnamese artillery had provided support for Cambodian troops earlier this week, but United States and South Viet namese officials in Chaudoc confirmed the incidents. Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky also confirmed the reports in a talk with reporters, but he said that the actions were un official and that such support had been given only in isolated cases. --- # Raids on Reds in Cambodia By Saigon Planes Reported ###By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times ###March 26, 1970 https://www.nytimes.com/1970/03/26/archives/raids-on-reds-in-cambodia-by-saigon-planes-reported-saigon-raids-on.html SAIGON, South Vietnam, March 25—South Vietnamese Air Force planes have struck inside Cambodia at least twice in the last week, in support of Cambodian Army operations against the Vietcong, reliable sources said today. On Friday, March 20, and again on Monday of this week, South Vietnamese A1‐E fighter bombers attacked positions be lieved to have been occupied by the enemy a few miles inside Cambodia across from Anphu district in Chaudoc Province. [In Pnompenh, Prince Siso wath Sirik Matak, the First Deputy Premier, disclosed that the Cambodian Govern ment had received notifica tion from North Vietnam and the Vietcong that they were recalling their diplomats from Cambodia. Page 17.] Both South Vietnamese strikes had been requested by the Cambodian area command ers in meetings with the Anphu district chief, Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat. The meetings were held in a mud‐walled outpost on the Cambodian side of the border. In addition, South Viet namese artillery batteries have provided close combat support for Cambodian units on at least four occasions since March 16, the sources said. More than 100 rounds have been fired in Cambodia by the 155‐mm howitzers based in the Anphu district capital during that time. The air strikes represent the most dramatic example of cross‐border cooperation be tween South Vietnamese and Cambodian troops since the overthrow last week of Prince Norodom Sihanouk as the Cam bodian Chief of State. During the last 10 days, Cam bodian troops have conducted a battalion‐size sweep opera tiùn on their side of the border in an apparent effort to drive the North Vietnamese and Viet cong units across the South Vietnamese border. Communist troops have long used the eastern provinces of Cambodia as sanctuaries and supply bases for their opera tions in South Vietnam. The new Government in Pnompenh is seeking the evacuation of the North Vietnamese and Vietcong from Cambodian territory. According to reliable sources, United States involvement the cross‐border cooperation against the Vietcong has been limited to the use of spotter aircraft. No American troops have been involved in the oper ations, nor has American artil lery been used, it was said. French ‐ speaking advisers, however, have participated in several of the meetings be tween Cambodian and South Vietnamese officials on the Cambodian side of the border, the informants said. In the meetings, the Cam bodians are reported to have proposed that Cambodian and South Vietnamese troops coop erate in a large‐scale sweep of the known Vietcong base areas just across the border. The Cambodian commanders are said to have suggested that the South Vietnamese troops operate as a blocking force to trap the Vietcong as they escape across the border. At no time have they asked the South Vietnamese troops to operate on the Cambodian side of the bor deer. They have, however, recommended that the areas in Cambodia be “softened up” by advance air strikes. The sources said that the Cambodians had proposed that napalm be used as well as teams of helicopter gunships. It is not known whether the South Vietnamese command has agreed to participate in such large‐scale joint operations or to provide anything beyond air strikes and artillery. A spokesman for the South Vietnamese Army said today that the local commanders had already been authorized to pro vide artillery support and ex change intelligence information with the Cambodians but so far not to commit troops. Such a decision would presumably have to be made by th the South Vietnamese Joint General Staff. In general, the South Vietnamese are anxious to exploit the current differences between the Cambodians and the Vietcong and to do everything possible to assist the Cambodians in their military operations. The Americans here are reluc tant to become involved in any thing that might involve a widening of the war or compromise the professed neutrality of the new Government in Pnompanh. As a result, the United States command is probably advising against extensive South Vietnamese military activity across the border. Air strikes called in during the last week are not the first by allied planes. On several previous occasions allied planes have struck back at after having received artillery fire from the Cambodian side of the border. In these instances, however, the Cambodians protested, the allied actions and demanded reparations for the damage caused by them. --- https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SBS19700321.1.3&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1 Page 3 [Raids on Reds in Cambodia By Saigon Planes Reported](https://i.imgur.com/onlFNlg.png) --- # Saigon's Raid in Cambodia Stirs U.S. Aides' Concern ### By Terence Smith Special to The New York Times ###April 1, 1970 https://www.nytimes.com/1970/04/01/archives/saigons-raid-in-cambodia-stirs-us-aides-concern.html SAIGON, South Vietnam, Wednesday, April 1—The South Vietnamese Army's penetration of Cambodian territory last week has caused considerable concern among United States diplomats here. Senior members of the Unit ed States mission are worried that if the South Vietnamese continue to conduct sweeps across the Cambodian border, they will threaten the neutral ity of the new regime in Pnom penh and complicate American efforts to stay out of the Cam bodian crisis. On the other hand, the South Vietnamese appear eager to ex ploit the changing situation. “We see the present situa tion as an opportunity,” an aide in the Presidential Palace said today, “and we are not nearly so concerned as the embassy about the diplomatic complica tions.” The operation last weekend, in which three battalions of South Vietnamese troops at tacked sanctuary two miles in side Cambodia with Cambodian Army cooperation, caught the United States embassy here by surprise. Planned by South Vietnam Reliable sources said that the sweep had been planned and executed by the South Vietna mese alone, without the knowl edge or consent of the United States mission here. “The South Vietnamese never informed us of the opera tion or asked for our approval,” a ranking American source said today, “probably because they knew in advance what our an swer would be. Coming so quickly after President Nixon's statements about limiting Amer ican involvement and respect ing Cambodian, neutrality, we would have had to say no.” Most of all, the United States officials here are concerned about the impact that future South Vietnamese operations across the border may have of American public opinion. “It would open us to the charge of widening the war,” one official said. “That's the last thing the Administration wants at this point.” Editors’ Picks Baseball Buys In on the Digital Age. But at What Cost? Overlooked No More: Alda Merini, Poet Who Wrote of Life’s Joys and Struggles Neil Gaiman Knows What Happens When You Dream The diplomats also fear a strong reaction by Hanoi against the new Government in Pnom penh, particularly when Cambo dian troops are involved. As a result, caution has been urged on the South Vietnarnese. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker saw President Nguyen Van Thieu on March 24 and again yesterday. Some members of the United States military command in Sai gon said that they had had suspicions that the South Viet namese were going to push the operation beyond the border last Friday. But they appar ently did not pass those sus picions along to the embassy or Washington; both were caught unprepared by the initial news reports. The South Vietnamese, how ever, continue to want to get at the sanctuaries across the Cambodian border, which are believed to contain 20,000 to 30,000 enemy troops and tons of supplies. Many South Vietnamese com manders, particularly those re sponsible for the border areas, arc urging further sweeps through the sanctuaries. A number of American com manders also believe that the Communist effort in the South can be crippled if the Cambo dian sanctuaries are denied to the enemy. Some officers be lieve that North Vietnam would be forced to sue for peace within six months if it lost its Cambodian supply routes and hideouts. The top American diplomats here are far more skeptical. They believe that short‐term gains from South Vietnamese actions would be outweighed by the political disadvantages. This military‐civilian division of opinion follows lines that have become traditional in South Vietnam. The hawks have been concentrated in “Pentagon East,” as the military headquarters is called, while the doves, such as they are, have been in the Embassy. The diplomats here, for the most part, have abandoned any hope of a military victory in South Vietnam. Some command ers, however, still nurture that hope, and tend to act upon likely opportunities. The operation last weekend marked the first time that South Vietnamese troops had crossed the Cambodian frontier in strength, except in so‐called hot pursuit. On Friday and again on Sat urday, South Vietnamese Rang ers in a long column of ar mored personnel carriers pene trated at least two miles into Cambodian territory. Two bat talions of Cambodian Army troops served as a blocking force. The operation ended Sun day night, with 94 Vietcong reported killed and 3 reported captured. The “suspicions” of some thing unusual apparently came up through military channels from the American advisers working with the South Viet namese forces on the planning of the operation. The advisers were never told directly that the operation would be extend ed into Cambodia, but they de duced it. The unprecedented South Vietnamese‐Cambodian coordi nation resulted from five meet ings of border officials held be tween March 18, the day of the Cambodian coup d'état, and March 26. Held in Mud‐Walled Post The meetings were held in a mud‐walled Cambodian Army outpost just across the border at the northwestern tip of Anphu District, on the edge of the Bassac River. The South Vietnamese representative was Lieut. Col. Truong Dinh Chat, the Anphu District chief, who had met periodically in the past with a Lieutenant Ean, the Cambodian outpost commander. Reliable sources give the following chronology of their contacts. On the initiative of Lieutenant Ean, the two men met the night of the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk and discussed possible military cooperation against the Viet cong. They met a second time at noon March 20, this time accompanied by a French s?eaking American military ad viser to Colonel Chat. Lieutenant Ean reported at the second meeting that his men were in contact with a Vietcong force estimated at 300 men in the nearby Paknam Forest and asked for air and artillery sup port from the South Viet namese. Within two hours, Vietnamese Air Force planes struck at the enemy positions, roughly two miles inside Cam bodia, and Vietnamese artillery began shelling the target. It was the first time Vietnamese airstrikes had been provided for the Cambodians. On March 21, Colonel Chat again crossed the border, this time to meet a delegation of Cambodian officers headed by Maj. Ly Khieng, the Cambodian chief for military affairs of Kandal Province. Altogether there were 13 Cambodian offi cers at the meeting, including Lieutenant Ean. At this and a subsequent meeting the next morning, the Cambodian delegation proposed that a large joint operation be mounted, involving two bat talions of Cambodian forces and at least two Vietnamese bat talions, against the Vietcong sanctuary in the Paknam Forest. The Cambodians recom mended that the area, which is believed to be unpopulated except for the enemy, be sub jected to artillery and air strikes. They specifically sug gested that napalm would be effective because of the dense woods. Tentative agreement on the operation was reached at this morning meeting, which was witnessed by 30 Cambodian Army soldiers in fatigues and 20 Cambodian militiamen in pajama‐like uniforms. All of the Cambodian soldiers carried AK 47 rifles. A fifth and final meeting on he operation was held at 9 A.M: on March 26 and the op ?ration was launched at 3 A.M. on the 27th. For the record, the South Vietnamese authorities have re used to acknowledge that their troops crossed the border. But ?rivately, they seem eminently ?leased with the results.
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