Sporadic fighting continues as Coalition forces continue to root out remnants of the Islamofascists in Fallujah. The Coalition nets intelligence on terrorist organizations during houes to house searches. Zarqawi’s main headquarters is believed to have been discovered, and information discovered in the city has lead to the capture of insurgents outside of Fallujah. Defying the laws of war, terrorists were using an Islamic medical charity as a front organization for training, weapons storage and bomb making factories.
“On the surface, it looks real, with the Red Cross,” says an Arabic speaker who went through the documentation. “But their real job is something different…. It’s like a front company. This is a medical facility to help insurgents.”
Ledgers listed big ticket, Iraqi donors. More ledgers were for those receiving cash or food. Outside, garbage sacks were full of car alarms – a favorite for rigging command-detonated car bombs and explosives. Homemade RPGs lay in the dirt, not far from scores of Iraqi-made RPGs, oiled and stacked like cordwood. Antitank mines and mountains of rockets and mortars of every size and description choked the buildings. An initial explosion of larger ordnance – including 14 SA-7 surface-to-air missiles- – sent a cement mixer flying 120 yards through the air.
The United States has placed a $5 million dollar bounty on Zarqawi associate Abu Musab Al-Suri, who “trained terrorists in poisons and chemicals ” and “is an Al Qaeda member and former trainer at the Derunta and al-Ghuraba terrorist camps in Afghanistan.” Last year, Al-Suri was indicted in Spain along with Osama bin Laden and a host of other al Qaeda members. There is no indication Al-Suri is in Iraq, however the timing of the release of this bounty suggests he may very well be.
Mosul is the next city to be cleaned out as forces prepare to attack insurgent strongholds in the city. An Iraqi commando force wrests control of a hospital from the terrorists, which was used to treat their wounded. Zarqawi continues his brutality by beheading two Iraqi soldiers stationed in Mosul. Elsewhere in Iraq, Coalition forces raid a prominent Sunni mosque in Baghdad which was being used to incite violence against Coalition forces.
The intelligence finds unearthed in Fallujah cannot be overestimated. In their haste to leave the city before the assault, hand written records, computers, and video were left behind and will assist with the identification of members of the insurgency as well as their contributers and sources of weapons and material. Ongoing operations and arrests throughout the country suggest the intelligence gathered in Fallujah is paying dividends. And the willingness to raid Sunni mosques outside of combat zones indicates the Iraqi government is confident in asserting its power. Operations such as these would have been unthought of as recently as last summer. Expect the tempo of operations in western Iraq to increase. American troop levels will be boosted during the scheduled upcoming rotation of forces, and the return of some units have been delayed to exploit the increase in forces. American generals believe they have the insurgents on the run, and will want to exploit the intelligence gathered in Fallujah and the temporary influx of troops.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.