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 future of the city. Dulaimi took a stern tone with the delegates, warning them that order is to be restored, be it locally or from the central government; “The minister was straightforward in his speech and warned the delegates that if the city doesn’t cooperate with the authorities in eliminating terror and criminal gangs, troops will have to enter the city and clean it up in a way similar to what happened in Talafar and the minister said that one month will be given to allow the city to take positive steps before power is used.”

Dulaimi has indicated the Iraqi government will listen, but will not accept terms that will lead to failure; “The government is willing to hear your demands and discuss them to reach a solution for the situation in Samarra, so talk to your people, write down your demands and submit them to the government but keep them reasonable, we can’t negotiate demands like those we heard from Ramadi, they wanted us to pull all Iraqi and American troops and let them rebuild units from the old army and that’s not acceptable. There’s one army in Iraq.”

Residents of Samarra have begun to leave the city, as they anticipate fighting in the near future. Note that the military already has established a cordon around the city; “Long queues of cars are forming at military checkpoints waiting for permission to leave the city.”

The pace and tempo of operations and negotiations have increased dramatically. The example of Tal Afar is forcing some Sunnis to reassess their position on supporting or turning a blind eye to the insurgency. The political pressure being exerted on Sunni leaders in Samarra would not be possible without the military pressure being applied by the Coalition. The involvement of the Iraqi Army crucial to this effort as it shows the fence-sitters that government has the capacity to apply their own force, and the political will to use it.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Justin Capone says:

    The media really seems to be playing up the idea that Z-Man is winning big time. An important part of war is the media and I think it is about time the Pentagon figures out how to deal with the media.
    This article is a great example of the defeatism I see in the media that Z-man is winning.
    Al-Zarqawi’s dark forces riding high on a tide of blood

  • Davis Chenault says:

    From what I understand, the 101st is beginning deployment to Iraq in the next 10 days. Expect the tempo of operations to increase with their deployment.
    It will be intersting to see which direction the military will take this; sweep Samarra and Ramadi or start closer to the border of Syria in al-Quaim and then move east.
    My gut instinct is that the sweeps of Ramadi and Samarra will occur first. My head tells me it would be best to block escape routes and entry points at the border then close in to the interior.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Davis Chenault,
    Speculation Alert!!!(On my part)
    There are elements of the 82nd AirBorne in Ninewa, between them, the 3rd ACR, Strykers and the extra 5,000 Iraqi troops, I would expect Sinjar and Rawah to be cleansed fairly soon.
    The 101st is supposed to be replacing the 42nd ID. Cleaning Sammara during the “hand over” period would make sense.
    The Ramadi,Haditha,Qaim order is anyones guess.
    II MEF is coming up for rotation soon.

  • Justin Capone says:

    I will know we have won the war when we totally clean out the cockroach infested peiece of dung known Ar Ramedi and place thousands of Iraqi troops in there.

  • Mider says:

    Keep it up everyone. I have recently found this site and forwarded it to my friends (mostly marines). This is exactly what we have been looking for. The truth is out there, one just has to search long and hard for it.
    After reading the 4th rail for about a week, it seems we have quite a stronghold on these outlying cities in Iraq. I’ll be honest and say that reading most internet news I had begun to believe we were losing. Why is this truth not reported?!?!
    Even on the so called “conservative” radio shows I listen to every day, there is no mention on our specific progress in Iraq. Keep it up.
    God Bless America and God Bless and watch over our beloved troops.
    Denver, CO

  • Woofguy says:

    It would be interesting to see how the MSM would treat the stories presented here if Bubba was in office.

  • GJ says:

    Mider, I recently found this site also, with the same beliefs. People Want to know and that’s why they find themselves here. It would be nice if these sites would get promoted somehow. As far as Bubba, remember Bosnia. We were supposed to get out in a year. We’re still there.

  • Davis Chenault says:

    I think the war is about to reach the tipping point. Although, I should point out that militarily there was never even a chance of failure. But that is only one dimension of the war. There is the military, political and media aspects to consider.
    In short, the US military in conjunction with the Irawi military and police have the initiative and will shortly be able to begin applying ever more force to broader swaths of territory. The insurgents are being herded into ever smaller areas and becoming easier targets.
    Politically, the constitution is going through its ratification stages. There is still much to do, but the corner has been turned and it will be ratified in time. The US is finally rounding out the international policy such that overt opposition is now relegated to grass roots campaigns. The inevitable loss of Shroeder in Germany and Chirac’s final acceptance that his opposition garnered him nothing and the Chinese acquiensence to a US dominated Middle East essentially allows the US to move forward without serious conflict in the international political arena. Domestically, opposition to the war is slight and meaningless as most members of the government, bith left and right, realize failure is no option.
    Several outliers exist. Iran and Syria both support the insurgency. I think the Iranian Regime is ging to focus on internal purges and reducing its overt threats util it has stabilize and produced its first atomic weapon. However, Iran has a good hand to play. Minor support for the insurgents, moderate support for Islamists etc to keep the US and Iraq off balance.
    Syria, on the other hand, is at a crossroads. A decision must be made as to whether they will continue to aid the insurgents. Whatever the decision, once much of the fighting in Iraq ceases, all eyes will be on Damascus and they will be forced to deal with external and internal opposition to the regime, reducing their ability to act in Iraq. Though certainly not negating it.
    Zs declaration of war against the Shia’s in an effort to start a civil conflict is nothing less than a desperation move. It will backfire.
    In the media war, things are moving along poorly but the air and steam for opposition and critique are decreasing daily. As the MSM becomes more virile and disengenuous in its analysis (not much of a stretch) the ones who are concerned will go elsewhere for information (here for example) to retrieve a more accurate and balanced portrayal of events. Although the MSM still has the upper hand, in the long term, the deck is stacked against them.
    The next two months are singularly the most important months since the fall of Sadam. It can still go either way, but my bets are on the US and Iraqi horse.
    Davis Chenault

  • moron99 says:

    media bias on display – From the linked Al Jazeera article.
    “US jets struck al-Bufarraj and Sufiya areas in Ramadi city at around 7.30am (0430 GMT) on Thursday, wounding an unknown number of civilians, independent Iraqi journalist Muhammad Hassan said.”
    then later in same article
    “The city was deserted with only fighters deployed in some areas”
    It sounds like the “unknown number of civillians” really means that they couldn’t find any but weren’t willing to say so. It saddens me to think it but I wouldn’t be surprised if MSM decided to play the same spin.

  • moron99 says:

    here is another good site
    Strategy Page

  • hamidreza says:

    M99, It sounds like the “unknown number of civillians” really means that they couldn’t find any but weren’t willing to say so. It saddens me to think it but I wouldn’t be surprised if MSM decided to play the same spin.
    In double-speak, al-Jazeera’s “unknown number of civilians” means that young fighting-age men strapped with ammunition vests and the occasional suicide vest, with grenades hanging off the belt, and RPG strapped to the shoulder, and an AK47 in hand, was brought into the hospital, either in one piece or in multiple pieces.
    But however, they were not wearing an “insurgent Army” standard issue uniform, and had a black face mask instead of a helmet – so that qualifies them as an innocent civilian. Its so obvious.


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