Monthly Archives: August 2005

Battle at the Border

“We decided, either we force them out of the city or kill them.” – Sheikh Muhammed Mahallawi, leader of the Albu Mahal tribe, on fighting al Qaeda Further details emerge on the fighting in Western Anbar between pro-government and pro al Qaeda tribes. The Washington Post‘s Ellen Knickmeyer and Omar Fekeiki report that of the […]

More Tribe-on-Tribe in Qaim

In the western Iraqi town of Qaim, clashes continue between the pro-government Bumahl tribe and the pro-al Qaeda Karabila tribe. Newsday, in an article titled “Heavy Fighting Erupts in Western Iraq“, reports that “20 members of the Bumahl tribe and 15 from Karabila were killed in the clashes,” with dozens wounded. Reuters reports 47 were […]

Qaim: A Tale of Two Tribes

The battle for control over the Syrian border region in the vicinity of Qaim continues. Jack Kelly points us to a press release from the Marine Corps on an airstrike on an al Qaeda safehouse in the contested town of Husaybah. The fact that terrorists are operating in Husaybah is no surprise, and neither should […]

Back to Haditha

It is time to revisit the Guardian’s claim that Haditha is a jihadi “citadel” along the lines of Fallujah of old. Soldier’s Dad points us the recent issue of This Week in Iraq, a newsletter published by Multinational Forces Iraq, which helps refute two of the claims in the article: Haditha is not being patrolled, […]

The Islamic Republic of Haditha?

Has Zarqawi established a new Fallujah-on-the-Euphrates in city of Haditha? The Guardian claims this is the case, after “a three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week.” The reporter is unnamed, and the article is single sourced. Haditha is the site of the ambush of six Marine Snipers and the IED attack […]

Islam, Democracy and Iraq’s Constitution

One of the most controversial items from a western standpoint is the role Islam will play in the laws of Iraq. The common cry [paraphrased] is “did we sacrifice our soldiers to establish an Islamist state?” Security Watchtower excerpts the text of the draft submitted to assembly (the full text can be viewed at […]

Constitutional Delay, Round 2

Three more days. Iraq’s constitutional committee has moved the draft out of committee and submitted it to the National Assembly. Omar from Iraq the Model provides the details of the day’s events. The Assembly deferred a vote for three days to gain further consensus, and again followed the proper procedure according to Transitional Administrative Law […]

Border Wars

The battles against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and al Qaeda and the insurgency in Iraq are increasingly being pushed towards the borders. The Taliban and Iraqi terror campaigns are relying on cross border havens to muster, arm and train fighters entering the country. The movement of combat from the political centers of gravity to the […]

THIS is Jihad

As al Qaeda continues to fight in Iraq, it exposes its true nature to the Iraqi people, and to the rest of the world… if only the world would pay attention. Chester points us to an interrogation of Abed, a member of al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Islam. Abed’s band of murderers routinely practiced rape and […]

More Middlemen

Al Qaeda’s middle managers continue to take a beating. Two senior commanders, one in Saudi Arabia, and one in Turkey, have been removed from action. The dismantlement of al Qaeda’s middle managers – its most senior field operatives with extensive knowledge, training and contacts in the jihadi world – is crucial to reducing al Qaeda’s […]

War on the Subcontinent

The multiple bombings throughout Bangladesh highlights the scope of the war, al Qaeda’s global reach and their reliance on local jihadi groups to extend their reach. Bangladesh has no troops in Iraq, is not an occupied country, nor does it have close ties to the West, yet Islamist terrorism exists all the same. Bangladeshi security […]

Constitutional Delay

Iraq’s political process temporarily stalled due to wrangling over the content of the constitution. The requested one week delay in submitting the constitution to the Iraqi assembly by the August 15 deadly is chalked up to disagreement over the role of Islam, women’s rights, federalism and the disbursement of oil revenues. Robert Mayer of Publius […]

The Seven Phases of The Base

With the fourth anniversay of the hot war between al Qaeda and the West approaching, it is interesting to see how al Qaeda’s strategy and objectives have evolved since the United States committed to engaging in open warfare. The Word Unheard points us to an article in Spiegel Online by a Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, […]

More Red-on-Red

“We have had enough of his nonsense. We don’t accept that a non-Iraqi should try to enforce his control over Iraqis, regardless of their sect — whether Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs or Kurds.” – Sheik Ahmad Khanjar, leader of the Sunni Albu Ali clan, referring to Abu Musab al Zarqawi Red-on-red incidents between al Qaeda and […]

Building the Iraqi Army Redux

A major reason Iraqi Security Forces are deemed “not operational” (in New York Times parlance) is their inability to sustain their own logistical support system. At the risk of beating the dead horse, it is important to stress that the majority of Iraqi units are able to conduct combat operations, but are restricted from fully […]

“More are on the way”

The question of the readiness of the Iraqi Army to take a major role in fighting the insurgency is often asked, and reports from the media have been less than helpful in answering this question. As we have seen, the mantra from the professional media has been that ‘few Iraqi Army units are fully operational’ […]

The End of Quick Strike

Operation Quick Strike has ended. According to Colonel Stephen Davis, the commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 2, which was executing the operation; “This is another operation, similar to those conducted before, that has disrupted the insurgents’ ability to operate freely in the western Al Anbar region.” The importance of local intelligence in conducting the […]

Shuffling Forces

While much of the news on force deployments to Iraq have focused on the prospects of a drawdown in the spring of 2006, the Department of Defense is discussing the possibility of increasing forces in Iraq to provide security for the October and December elections. Often overlooked is the fact that the US has begun […]

Quick Strike Update

News reports from Operation Quick Strike are sparse. According to the Washington Post, the strke force consists of “180 Iraqi soldiers and 900 members of the 2nd Marine Division, backed by M1-A1 Abrams tanks, helicopters and jets.” This equates to about a company of Iraqi forces attached to a marine battalion. A car bomb factory […]

The Anbar Campaign Revisited

The commencement of Operation Quick Strike raises the question of whether operations in Anbar have taken a radical departure from past operations, or whether Quick Strike is the beginning of a new phase of the Anbar Campaign. Chester argues Quick Strike should be viewed separately from the spring/summer operations as the establishment of a base […]

Continuing Ops, Trouble in Mosul

While Operation Quick Strike continues, Coalition forces conduct Operations Able Warrior and Vanguard Thunder in and around Baghdad. The operations are being conducted simultaneously along the Euphrates river and are targeting specific terrorists cells. In Mosul, a letter from Abu Zayd (the “emir of Farming reform battalion on the west side”) to Zarqawi is intercepted. […]

Operation Quick Strike

I’ll be brief as I am heading out for a weekend vacation… The latest offensive in the Anbar Campaign on the Euphrates River has been designated Operation Quick Strike. The battle was planned prior to the deadly attacks on US Marines earlier this week, and has been engaged since Wednesday. The cities targeted are Haditha, […]

The Anbar Campaign

The series of operations being conducted in the Anbar province along the Euphrates River must be looked upon not as isolated operations, but part of an overall campaign to wrest the Anbar province from the insurgency and al Qaeda. During a Department of Defense press briefing, General Ham alludes to the existence of the Anbar […]

Haditha, Marine Snipers, Ansar al-Sunnah, and the Greater War

The Marines of the 3/25 Marine Reserve battalion have taken in inordinate amount of casualties in the fighting in and around Haditha the past several days. Jack details the toll taken by the Marines of 3/25 and their families. Mr. Kelly correctly points out that while the greater casualties were taken in the IED strike […]

Hot in Haditha

The River War continues. US Marines are engaged in a tough fight in the Euphrates River city of Haditha. Operation New Market commenced on May 25 to pacify the city, and the fighting has intensified in recent days. On August 1, six Marines were killed when engaging the enemy in a firefight. On August 2, […]

LeT it be

The aftershocks from the 7/7 and 7/21 attacks on the London tubes and the Sharm el-Sheikh bombing in Egypt extend to Pakistan. Several of the London terrorists were of Pakistani descent and are believed to have trained and attended madrassa in Pakistan. The initial investigation of the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings in Egypt pointed to men […]

The Ratline Manual

As infiltration from the Syrian Ratline into Iraq continues, another jihadi’s guide to entering Iraq from Syria has surfaced. Evan Kohlmann provides a translation of The New Road to Mesopotamia, which was purportedly written by a jihadi named Al-Muhajir Al-Islami. The guide is an interesting window into the operations of the enemy. Al-Islami covers many […]

Nuclear Iran

Iran’s desire to become a nuclear power is moving forward. Negotiations between Iran and the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany) have reached an impasse, and Iran demands the EU-3 settle the issue by today, or the UN seals on the Isfahan nuclear reactor will be broken and fuel processing and research will immediately resume. Iran’s […]