Speaking after an inspection of the security situation on highways leading from Phnom Penh, the Prime Minister of the Khmer Republic, In Tam, said he believed his country would be able to fight on alone without the support of bombing by the United States.
GV Artillery position on Highway 21
LV 105 mm cannon firing
SV & SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Troops firing 105mm cannon ZOOM INTO gun being leaded (2 shots)
GVs Guns firing (2 shots)
CU Munitions stors interior
GV Troops next to cannon
MUTE GV PAN Part of refuges camp
MV & CU PAN In Tam talks to army patrol leader and shakes hands and walks away (3 shots)
MV PAN In Tam walking through village
CU's & MV In Tam talking to old man (3 shots)
Initials BB/0205 JT/DW/BB/0221
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Background: Speaking after an inspection of the security situation on highways leading from Phnom Penh, the Prime Minister of the Khmer Republic, In Tam, said he believed his country would be able to fight on alone without the support of bombing by the United States.
He said the army would have to change its tactics. It would need to make greater use of artillery, armoured cars and tanks. He said the only air support available for troops would come from the small national Air Force, which possessed helicopters and about 40 propeller-driven aircraft.
During the inspection In Tam talked with troops and refugees, and promised to help refugees who told him of their plight.
In general there's been a lull in the fighting since the end of the United States bombing on August the fifteenth. Talking with reporters, In Tam agreed with suggestions from his intelligence forces, that the Communists may be regrouping for a major action. It's believed they'd split into smaller units as a defence against the bombing -- to minimise casualties.
There have been reports of action on two fronts. The government say they've driven back the Communists, from around Phnom Penh. Khmer Republic 'planes were said to have been in action near Phnom Penh soon after the and of the United States bombing. No details were released. The country's third largest city, Kempeng Cham, to the north-east of the capital, was said to be under mounting pressure. The military command reported a big enemy force trying to move along highway seven towards the city, which has a million inhabitants -- nearly a third refugees. The command said this pressure is the main concern of the government, but enemy forces are still fifteen miles from the city.
Problems confronting the enemy include, according to government spokesmen, heavy casualties during the last phase of the United States bombing; friction between the Khmer Rouge and their North Vietnamese and Vietcong allies; and the impending monsoon.