Monthly Archives: September 2005

The Waiting Game in Qaim

The Coalition is preparing to assault the region of Qaim, on the western end of the Euphrates River. An unidentified Iraqi source states the date of the operation will not be advertised, and intimates the operation may already be underway; “Just as with our Tal Afar operation, D-Day is not announced until well after we […]

Controlling Ramadi

The situation in Ramadi is still unclear. Coalition and media reports are sparse on the subject of Ramdi, but it does appear operations are occurring, accompanied by an up tick in violence. Last week, we discussed an operation in the northeast of the city, where Marines airlifted equipment into a stadium and fighting soon broke […]

Operation Hunter Redux

Last week, the Coalition announced that Operation Hunter (or Sayaid), designed to bolster Coalition forces in the region of Qaim on the Syrian border, was underway. Yesterday, Iraq’s Chief of Interior Ministry Commandos stated that Iraqi commandos will conduct sweeps in the border area beginning Tuesday (it is unclear if this means operations are currently […]

Who was Abdullah Abu Azzam al-Iraqi?

The death of Abdullah Abu Azzam al-Iraqi at the hands of the Coalition has raised questions. What was his value to al Qaeda in Iraq, and was he captured last winter? Who was he? Abdullah Abu Azzam al-Iraqi was also known as Abdallah Nahim, but his real name was Abdallah Mohammed al-Juhaari. He was a […]

The Chopping Block

The past month has been exceptionally hard on the upper management of al Qaeda in Iraq. The death of al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior commander, Abdullah Abu Azzam, highlights this fact. Security Watchtower documents the heavy losses. In the Anbar and Diwana provinces, sixteen leaders, including six “emirs” , five senior facilitators and 5 brigade […]

The Demise of Abu Azzam

Al Qaeda in Iraq’s leadership suffers another blow. Sheikh Abdullah Abu Azzam al-Iraqi, reportedly the organization’s number two in command, has been killed by Coalition forces in Baghdad during a raid after the Coalition received a tip on his location. That the Coalition found him indicates actionable intelligence was available, and that he was in […]

al Qaeda Commander and 20 Terrorists Killed in Raid

The Coalition continues to conduct targeted strikes on al Qaeda in the Qaim region along the Syrian border. A safe house in the town of Al ‘Ushsh, which is about two miles from Qaim, was destroyed. Abu Nasir, who according to CENTCOM was believed to be “a senior al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighter facilitator […]

The Anbar Campaign Continues

The Coalition appears to be conducting a comprehensive operation along a segment of the Euphrates River. The area of operations appears to stretch from Ramadi in the east to Khan-Al-Baghdadi in the west. Buried at the bottom of an Associate Press article on a multitude of news from Iraq: West of Baghdad, U.S. forces kept […]

Clashes in Ramadi

The city of Ramadi currently appears to be the focus of a Coalition operation. Four soldiers were killed in the city on Monday, and today two Marines were killed in separate attacks. Capt. Nasir Al-Alousi of the Ramadi police reports fighting has broken out after U.S. forces airlifted equipment into the stadium and has since […]

Northern Exposure

Iraqi and U.S. forces in Tal Afar have switched from combat operations to reconstruction and security operations. According to Major General Abdel Aziz Mohammed Jassem, the assault on Tal Afar resulted in 157 insurgents killed and 683 captured. Iraqi Security Forces suffered 12 killed and 27 wounded, astonishingly low numbers for urban combat. The town […]

Revisting Samarra

Operation Sayaid is designed to establish a Coalition presence along the Syrian border and choke off the insurgency from Qaim to Haditha. While operations along the northern ratline around Tal Afar, the central (and main) ratline around Qaim, and the southern entry point around Rutbah continue, the Coalition has not forgotten about the heart of […]

Recent Iraq Operations – A Flash Presentation

Created by Steve Schippert, Marvin Hutchens and Bill Roggio The pace and tempo of operations in western Iraq have been increasing over the past month, indicating the Anbar Campaign is moving forward. The disclosure of Operation Sayaid signals the Coalition is now prepared to move on the towns and cities along the western branch of […]

Enter Operation Sayaid (Hunter)

The Anbar Campaign continues. The Washington Post reports Operation Sayaid (or “Hunter”) is designed to bolster the U.S. and Iraqi presence in the western Anbar region from Qaim to Haditha. Sayaid will add several U.S. battalions and Iraqi battalions to the region, as well as add several hundred Iraqi border guards along the Syrian border. […]

Continuing the Hunt

Coalition forces continue to target al Qaeda’s leadership. In Baghdad, al Qaeda physicians Dr. Sa’ad and Dr. Mazen are detained. Both men were responsible for treating wounded jihadis. Dr. Mazen is more than just an MD, however. According to CENTCOM, he “sold weapons and explosives to Wamid [al Qaeda’s Emir in Baghdad] and his subordinates […]

Canceling the Civil War?

Just last week, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, once again declared all out war on the Shiites, an Islamic sect despised by al Qaeda for their interpretation of the Koran and their ritual practices. The timing of Zarqawi’s statement coincided with the assault on Tal Afar, but also with a Shiite holiday […]

The “Resurgence” of the Taliban

After the Taliban failed to conduct successful attacks on Afghanistan’s election day, the counting of ballots begins. al Qaeda’s number two in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, weighs in on the election. Apparently the will of six million Afghans is illegitimate. “These elections are a farce more than anything else,” he said, echoing pre-poll comments from a […]

Abu Khabab and Project al-Zabadi

Bill raised the very valid point concerning al Qaeda’s chemical weapons capabilities below and with all the discussion now going on concerning them I can’t help but wonder whether or not it isn’t time to revisit the career of Midhat Mursi al-Sayyid Umar, a man far better known as Abu Khabab. A former scientist in […]

North Korea to End Nuke Program

North Korea–The North will have to build trust by fulfilling all its pledges before that issue would be discussed, said Sasae, who is director of the Asia and Oceania Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry. North Korea has also refused to totally disarm without getting concessions along the way, while Washington has said it wants to […]

Toothless Taliban

Afghanistan has successfully conduct its second round of elections since its liberation from the Taliban in 2001. Turnout is estimated at over fifty percent. Despite promises to disrupt the election from al Qaeda and the Taliban, the violence on election day was insignificant. The BBC tallies up the election day violence: • A skirmish between […]

Chemical Games

The successful assault on the northern city of Tal Afar brought the prospect of chemical warfare in Iraq to the fore. Two al Qaeda linked groups claimed to have conducted successful attacks using chemical weapons last week. The Army of the Victorious Sect stated they attacked the Interior Ministry with rockets equipped with chemical weapons, […]

Continuing Ops In Tal Afar and Anbar

Coalition forces continue mop-up operations in Tal Afar. General Casey reports the city is nearly cleared of insurgents after recent operations, and that up to eighty percent of the foreign fighters (otherwise known as al Qaeda) and insurgents killed or captured have been accounted for (see this comment for correction). About 20,000 of the city’s […]

Strikes in the Sunni Triangle

Coalition forces continue to press operations in the heart of the Sunni Triangle. The towns of Haditha and Karabilah are the latest targets. Haditha, which has been inaccurately referred to the Zarqawi’s “Islamic Republic of Haditha” , was the focus of a raid by ground forces, followed by airstrikes. A terrorist complex was uncovered, and […]

Back to the Euphrates III: Samarra, Ramadi

Both military and political pressure are being applied in the Anbar province. Al Jazeera reports airstrikes and combat between U.S. forces and ‘Iraqi fighters’ in the city of Ramadi near the U.S. base and a mosque. Omar from Iraq the Model reports delegates from Samarra have met with Iraqi Defense Minister Dulaimi to negotiate the […]

Back to the Euphrates II

As stated a few hours ago, the attacks in Baghdad would likely cause the Coalition to reassess the need to push forward with plans for operations along the Euphrates River. Reuters claims, based on a statements made by Major General Rick Lynch, that “U.S. forces are ready to launch air strikes on towns in western […]

More Middlemen in Mosul; Back to the Euphrates

The Coalition continues to dismantle Al Qaeda’s network in northern Iraq. Yesterday Col. Robert Brown described the degradation of al Qaeda in the north, summarized here; “Eighty percent of the network has been killed or captured. Sixty to seventy percent of the terrorist killed were foreigners. Most terrorists are now in their mid-teens, and inexperienced. […]

Baghdad Battles

After Tal Afar, al Qaeda strikes in its predictable and brutal fashion: suicide bombs and terror. In Baghdad, a suicide bomber lures in Shiite day-laborers, blows up his truck. Reports indicate 114 killled and 156 wounded in this single incident. Mohammed at Iraq the Model states eleven separate explosions in Baghdad ocurred in today. According […]

After Action Report: Oil Spots and Tal Afar

There has been much debate in the past on the lack of an effective strategy to fight the insurgency in Iraq. In the September/October edition of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Krepinevich argues that to win, the U.S. must fight using an “oil spot” strategy, which is one of securing major cities, and working your way to […]

More Ops at the Gateway to the Euphrates Ratline

There is little rest for al Qaeda and the insurgency in the Qaim region, or in northwestern or southwestern Iraq as well. Reuters AlertNet reports multiple airstrikes in Karabila and ground operations in Gumruk. “American aircraft have struck the city of Karabila more than 10 times,” the source said. A security source added that the […]

Enter the 82nd in Tal Afar

At the end of last month, the Department of Defense reported two battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq to provide additional security for the upcoming elections. Less than three weeks after the announcement, the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 82nd appears in action at Tal Afar. Stryker Brigade […]

Unsafe Havens

While mop-up operations continue in Tal Afar, Coalition forces continue to keep al Qaeda off balance on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. Last night a raid was conducted in Haditha, where an al Qaeda aide was arrested and an airstrike was called in to destroy an enemy vehicle. Four of his associates were subsequently killed […]