Operation Scorpion

Iraqi Army conducts independent operations in and around Kirkuk; Seventh multi-battalion operation in ten days

Map of 7 major operations over the past 10 days in north-central Iraq.

The Iraqi Army has launch yet another independent operation, code named Scorpion, in the Kirkuk region. This is a combined multi-battalion operation comprised of two Iraqi battalions, the 1st and 5th battalions of the Iraqi Army's 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, with the U.S. 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division acting in a supporting role. According to Multinational Forces - Iraq, "The operation was developed and planned by Maj. Gen. Anwar, commander of the Iraqi 2nd Brigade, and his staff."

Five villages are the focus of the operation, which was driven by "Iraqi-generated intelligence". Scorpion is a cordon & search operation designed to uncover weapons caches and flush out and detain suspected insurgents.

The operational tempo in central and northern Iraq has increased. Scorpion is the seventh multi-battalion counterinsurgency operation launched in the last ten days, and follows Swarmer (Samarra, March 16-23), Raging Bull (Haditha Triad, March 21), Normandy (Ramadi, March 21), Iron Strike (Salman Pak, March 21), Northen Lights (Abu Ghraib, March 23), and an unnamed operation near Balad (March 18-23).


READER COMMENTS: "Operation Scorpion"

Posted by JAF at March 24, 2006 11:17 AM ET:

Glad to see the Iraqi army take more charge. Thats good news. I feel bad that they are getting a lot of bumps and bruises in the process, but happy that they are giving it a real fight.

Posted by Matthew at March 24, 2006 12:03 PM ET:

Great context reporting Bill.

On your links, may I ask for the dates of the operations in these regions (naming the areas is quite nice) - i.e. Operation Swarmer (Samarra, March 16-present).

A Flash presentation of the operations and their results (including how Iraqi army is stepping up their roles) sometime later would also be cool to follow.

Posted by Matthew at March 24, 2006 12:10 PM ET:

Sorry, Bill, I'm being lazy.

Would love a Flash Presentation sometime.

Posted by Bill Roggio at March 24, 2006 12:32 PM ET:

Will update post. As far as the Flash goes, patience, Grasshopper, patience... Or you'll spoil all of my fun...

Posted by cjr at March 24, 2006 1:54 PM ET:

Some interesting comment by Gen Dempsey(in charge of ISF development) in his briefing this morning.

The quoted number of "Iraq units that own battle space" (2 division, 13 bde, 49 battalions) does not include the 2 brigades and 6 battalions of the Police Public Order force that also own battle space (in Bagdad). So, for the entire ISF, the total is 2div, 15bde, 55bat.

Border force will be completed and all 3631km Iraqi border will be manned by July.

The setting up of transport logistics units will be competed by end'06. They will evolve (like the ISF combat units) though readiness states until they are self sustaining.

1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th division are ethnically diverse(ie represent the ethnic balance of Iraq) because they were recruited that way. 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th are not because they started life as the locally recruited Civil Defence Force before being integrated into the Iraqi Army. However, over time, as recruitment continues, these division will become more diverse.

Police Commandos are ethnically diverse, but the Police Public Order force is not. However, the PC and PPO will soon be merged and this will go a long way towards addressing the issue.

Posted by Marlin at March 24, 2006 1:58 PM ET:

An update on Operation Scorpion.


Meanwhile, soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division joined Iraqi troops in a sweep of five villages outside the city of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad. Forty suspected insurgents were picked up in Hawija, police said.

Associated Press: Dozens of Insurgents Captured in Iraq

Posted by cjr at March 24, 2006 2:15 PM ET:

Some interesting things happening this week.

-The 1/506th is part of the 4th bde/101st Division based in Sadr City/Bagdad. Yet they are executing an operation in Ramdi(Normandy).
-The 1/67th, part of the 1st bde / 1st Armored division based in Tel Afar is now operating in Hit.
-The 1st bat / 1st Marine Regiment based in Fallujia is taking part of an operation in Abu Ghraib.
-2 US battalions have been moved from elsewhere in Iraq to Bagdad (Operation Scales of Justice).

Are we seeing the evolution in US operations that has been predicted for so long: as the ISF stand up and control more battle space, US forces stops operating in fixed locations and start becoming a more widely ranging reaction force??

Posted by dj elliott at March 24, 2006 5:04 PM ET:

re: cjr
More importantly we are taking elements of the IA with US on those ops. Defense is easier than offense and we are handing both over.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 24, 2006 6:49 PM ET:


Elements of the 1st AD are also in Western Baghdad.(Scales of Justice)

A pretty good sized peice of Mosul has been turned over to the ISF, Northern Salhadin and Pieces of Ninewa Province have been turned over, A good piece of Diyala and Sulyaminah(sp) have been turned over.

If I look real close, there are at least 5 battalions that don't own battlespace.

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 10:19 AM ET:

Has anybody heard the story about Russia relaying intellence to Saddam before the war? And that the info may have come from a mole at Centcom?


Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 10:21 AM ET:

Would help if I spelled intelligence correctly!

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 12:14 PM ET:

Also what about this Afghan turned Christian that is being threatened of beheading if he does not convert back to Islam...and if he is set free of this charge he will still not be safe from other Islamist taking retaliation upon him. This appears to be a good thing that the world has been made aware of this mans plight however will it make a difference in the long run. What I mean is will the Afghan or Islamist people ever stop killing people based on deeply rooted religious beliefs?

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 25, 2006 12:27 PM ET:


The Russians surely have satellites capable of spotting things like tanks. They also have an Embassy in Qatar and listening devices capable of picking up conversations from a distance. They wouldn't need a mole, all they would need would be two officers, having a conversation, in a facility that wasn't completely sound proofed.

Posted by JAF at March 25, 2006 12:58 PM ET:

Regarding the Afghani who converted to Christianity and whether or not Islamist will ever stop killing people based on religion, that is the question that the whole war on terror is about. We are hoping that overthrowing hostile regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq will provide reforms and institute seeds of democracy in the heart of the Middle East. It is hoped that democracy will help stem the appeal of radical islamism. There are good debates on whether this will work. If it doesn't, then we will know that nothing we can do will stop the hatred and killing of other religions (and westerners) by the muslims. Reforming them will be impossible. At that point, we can submit to it or destroy it.

Posted by JAF at March 25, 2006 1:46 PM ET:

There is a great post that discusses this very issue over at WESTHAWK. Be sure to check out the comments to.

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 3:10 PM ET:

OT: I have a question. My wheeled recce is shaky and I am trying to find out what the 6x6 APCs assigned to IA 3 Bde/1 Div in Habinaya are? Saw them in background of Fox news. Specs?

Also specs on Reva APCs the MOI Divs are getting? Reva is way too common in a search online and I know someone here knows...

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 3:47 PM ET:

3pm eastern time 25 Mar and Fox is breaking news with Scorpion. Day (+) late and millions short.
CNN has it buried in a one line entry of a lead on Iraqi violence...

"It is not news unless it is bad news."

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 25, 2006 7:25 PM ET:

KIRKUK, Iraq - Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, with assistance from Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, Bastogne, 101st Airborne Division, detained 52 suspected insurgents yesterday during Operation Scorpion, a sequential cordon and search of eight villages in and around Hawijah.

Meanwhile, in another supporting operation, Soldiers from the Iraqi Army's 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade teamed up with Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st BCT, to conduct raids for suspected terrorists in Kirkuk.

via dvids -http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=news/news_show.php&id=5857

Note to Bill: Brigade level operation, on 2 separate objectives.

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 9:10 PM ET:

Hey Everybody!

Do you think it would benefit us to do what they did at the end WWII in Germany by setting curfew, no guns allowed, changing supply routes so forth and if they were seen with a gun or out after curfew they were shot on the spot. This is what an old German lady told me they should do. She said a neighborman was out after curfew working on a patch of dirt that he was trying to grow a garden in and they shot him. It worked she said. She said they knew not to go out after curfew or carry guns or they would be shot on the spot. Sounds horrible though.

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 9:29 PM ET:

They did not have TV looking to villianize US back then. If we could use old-school tactics, this would be already be over. These days the PC police insist on "kinder and gentler" treatment of enemies.

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 9:53 PM ET:

Old school tactics may be the only thing that works there. If the public can be made to understand that, I don't think they will mind. You give them 72 hours to turn in their guns and then get it on. These people torture others and cut heads off...If the public realizes that only the bad guys would be the ones out and breaking the rules, killing innocent people...I think they will understand. And as for Iran, don't we have some shock and awe we can lay on them to make them shut up?! We are already next door in a world of doo might as well take care of them too.
Now Russia is our enemy too! When will it stop?
I know, not that easy.

By the way, what's up with the beheading crap??
That is just so sick!
My goodness, imagine if the people in Alabama went crazy and started killing people after thier churches were burned down over these past couple of months.
It is like these people are from ancient times where and eye for an eye and "bring me his head on platter" kinda thing. So many fundamental differences between us and them...I just don't understand.

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 10:04 PM ET:

Beheading is a traditional method of execution and not just in moslem countries. Cutting hands off of theaves is also in that law. This traditional method of legal execution predates christianity. By using them they are trying to claim that they are the legit authority...

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 10:08 PM ET:

When the Japanese beheaded our personnel in WWII, they considered it rendering honor to worthy prisoners that they had to kill. Those they did not consider worthy of that honor, died much uglier deaths.

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 10:09 PM ET:

I know it predates Christianity...that is my whole point...they are still living in biblical time. An eye for and eye is how we have to fight them. I think the old school methods would work there.

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2006 10:20 PM ET:

I guess that would stir up the media...but I still think that is the only way to win...if not I am afraid it will be like another Vietnam with years and years of fighting.
My mom did tell me she liked it when we didn't have to watch war. Her father, my grandpa, was in the Navy in WWII and they didn't tell the public play for play like we have it now. But then again it is called progress and they need to move forward over there.

Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 10:37 PM ET:

Several countries still use beheading as the official method of execution.
Most of that neighborhood would agree with your old-school thoughts.
In Saudi they round up everyone on the street for 2 blocks around to witness public beheadings, hands choped off, etc.
In Iran, (officially) it is against the law to execute virgins.
They get around that part of sharia law by raping all prisoners.
Male and female.

Posted by hamidreza at March 25, 2006 10:57 PM ET:

Distrubing article on how black clad Sadr Mahdi Army thugs pick up innocent Sunnis, many of them seculars and professionals and students, and then torture kill them.

I wonder if the world community would consider these atrocities, between 50 to 100 PER DAY committed by Mahdi Army, as a crime, and may want to indict that traitor murderer Muqtada Sadr? Why do western reationary and totalitarian leftists and cultural relativists, such as Juan Cole and Cindy Sheehan, consider the vile Sadr to be a hero, and the savior and future leader of Iraq?


Posted by dj elliott at March 25, 2006 11:06 PM ET:

Numbers may (or not) be exagerated.
My read of the last few Baghdad briefs is that we intend to sort out the "militias" once the government is seated.
My bet is that a serious housecleaning is planned prior to any serious reductions of our forces there.

Posted by Lisa at March 26, 2006 7:47 AM ET:


What good would it do to arrest Muqtada Sadr when there will be another monster there to fill his shoes. You think they would stop...no, they would just be even more vengeful. In thier twisted mind they think they are doing the right thing.

Posted by JAF at March 26, 2006 10:59 AM ET:

What good is it to cure that disease, when only another will pop up? You ask a good question, fighting evil is a never ending chore.

deleted by site owner.