The immediate objective of the American Army, after the capture of Inchon, was Seoul. MacArthur wanted it captured by the three-month anniversary of the North Korean invasion. As the Americans moved forward toward Seoul, North Korean forces were in a state of collapse throughout the south. Walker's forces were able to achieve a breakthrough from the Pusan perimeter. Most of the commanders of the Americans forces on the ground wanted to flank Seoul and not attack it directly. However, Almond was insistent on making a direct assault in order to satisfy MacArthur. The Communists, while withdrawing from other parts of the country as fast as possible, decided to make a stand in Seoul with 20,000 troops. On September 20, the first Marine units approached Seoul by crossing the Han River. The Marines approached the capital from north, south and west. At the same time, a regiment of the 7th division and the 187th Airborne RCT covered their flanks. The American forces then became engaged in house-to-house combat that destroyed much of the city. Allied command dutifully announced the liberation of Seoul on the 25th. However, it was not until September 27 that Marines reached the Capitol building of Seoul.