Border Wars V – Operation Cyclone in Rutbah, Tal Afar, and more

With simultaneous offensives occurring in Qaim, Tal Afar, and Rabiah, Coalition forces launch Operation Cyclone in the southern town of Rutbah, which sits astride roads at the southern-most border crossing with Syria and the northern-most border crossing with Jordan. Cyclone is a cordon and search, there is no word on the composition of the force or whether Coalition forces intend to fully occupy the town at this time, as is being done in Tal Afar.

The Iraqi government states Iraqi Security Forces took the lead in the fight in Tal Afar. While the media reports on the size of the Coalition force operating in Tal Afar vary, the average number being reported is about 4,000 U.S. troops and 6,000 Iraqi troops. This would make for about 8-9 Iraqi and 5-6 U.S. battalions involved in the fight. This is a significant commitment of resources, and indicates the Iraqi Security Forces are improving their ability to operate at the battalion level and greater. The Iraqi government outlines the plan to secure Tal Afar when the assault is completed:

The offensive was led by the Iraqi Army’s Third Division, officials said, but was supported by other brigades and by police commando units that are part of a special Interior Ministry counterinsurgency force. After the operation is complete, the police commandos will maintain control of the city temporarily, then eventually cede authority to a new police force of 1,700 officers, including 1,000 recruited from Tal Afar, said Mr. Jabr, the interior minister.

Reports indicate the assault on Tal Afar has ended, with 156 insurgents killed and 246 captured. Some terrorists may have fled using underground tunnels as escape routes.

Iraqi Defense Minister Dulaimi openly lays out the sequence of planned operations; ”After the Tal Afar operation ends, we will move on Rabiyah and Sinjar and then go down to the Euphrates valley.” There is little the terrorists can do to stop the coming onslaught.

The border closing in Rabiah, the assault on Tal Afar, the systematic airstikes in Qaim and the operation in Rutbah show the Coalition is methodically targeting the main points of entry of the insurgency and al Qaeda. A recently discovered ratline manual from a known al Qaeda facilitator stated these three entry points were the main areas of crossing, with the crossing at Qaim being the preferred point of entry due to tribal advantages, terrain and other considerations.

The Coalition may be focusing efforts in Tal Afar to the north and Rutbah to the south because these crossings are easier to secure. The effect of this will be the funneling of terrorists and material to the Qaim region, increasing the likelihood of more violent clashes along the Euphrates ratline. The Coalition is compensating for this by taking advantage of new-gained intelligence in the area to conduct precision raids to kill al Qaeda en masse.

Yesterday, Iraqi Defense Minister Dulaimi made the following declaration; “We tell our people in Ramadi, Samarra, Rawah and Qaim that we are coming.” The facts is that U.S. units have forward operating bases in each of these cities. The “we” he is referring to is the Iraqi Security Forces. Operations in Tal Afar, Qaim, Husaybah, Rabiah and Rutbah are setting the table for the impending arrival of Iraqi Security Forces to assert control in these trouble areas of the Anbar province. This would be Phase III of the Anbar Campaign.

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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33 Comments

  • Kevin says:

    Here’s an interesting article about the support of the Syrian population across the border for the insurgency. Difficult to say how much is true. One thing I’m curious about is the people displaced by these operations, as well as those of Falloujah: are there now semi-permanent refugee camps in Iraq, and if so who is in control of them?

  • Justin Capone says:

    Zarqawi tape accuses US of using chemical weapons in Iraq
    A voice recording attributed to Al-Qaeda’s Iraq frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and posted on the internet Sunday accused the US military of using chemical weapons in its assault on rebels in the northern town of Tal Afar.
    “O nation of Islam, your enemies are using more destructive weapons including poison gas against the inhabitants of Tal Afar,” the voice said.
    Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari gave the go-ahead Friday for an all-out assault on Tal Afar by some 4,000 US and around 6,000 Iraqi troops after days of deadly clashes failed to dislodge insurgents from the town.
    //tinylink.com/?Nqz4nSB0U3
    US forces threatened with a chemical attack unless they halt Tal Afar offensive in 24 hours.
    The threat was issued by the “Organization of the Victorious”

  • I just came across this blog and amazed by all these successful operations, to route out insurgents and terrorists, going on in Iraq “under the radar” of the media. I mean, not even Fox News is reporting them! It’s just incredible sad and pathetic that the successes are not being reported. How does anybody expect a nation to fully support a war when the media is exploiting the situation and shaping their opinions as they show that there is nothing but death and destruction in Iraq. It’s a sorry state of affairs.
    May I ask where you get these stories from? I would really love to hear more. G-d bless you for taking on the task that the media refuses. Thank you for telling what is REALLY going on over there.
    -OC

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Olah,
    The sources are the media, CENTCOM and other various reports. The highlighted items are links to the source. The media often gets the facts right, it is their presentation of the facts, placement of the articles (burying them on page A24 for example), a lack of understanding of military affairs and combat operations, and editorializing in news that I disagree with.
    Which is why I do what I do.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Let me add that MilBlogs and other bloggers are often an important source of news as well.

  • Ike says:

    Lynch said insurgents had built two tunnel complexes in Sarai to help them escape Tal Afar in the event of an assault, and that some were trying to get out in disguise.
    “We’re finding terrorists now trying to blend in with the innocent civilians, some of them dressed as females, putting on wigs to get through the checkpoints,” he said.
    “The rats know that we’re closing in on them, and they’re trying to find a way to get out.”
    //today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=worldNews&summit=&storyid=2005-09-11T181234Z_01_SCH022074_RTRUKOC_0_UK-IRAQ.xml
    This account says insurgents had built tunnels and were trying to get out but no word on if they had gotten out or not.

  • hamidreza says:

    Bill, that is the best map of Iraq I have seen, as it contains the name of pertinent towns that no other map contains. Could you please provide the link to the full map?
    I wonder if Shiite Interior Ministry police commandos are up to snuff to control a city of 200,000 (150,000 being Sunnis) with underground tunnels connecting terrorist infested centers? Why not station 3 or 4 Army batallions and surround the city? Looks like this is a recipe for the infestation to simmer, and police checkpoints to be attacked by the insurgents.
    Where are these 190,000 IA forces? They dont seem to be deployed anywhere meaningful. Are they at the checkpoints in Baghdad? Then why the insecurity in Baghdad? Even if half of these 190,000 are still in training, what is the other half doing when it seems the police is taking the brunt of confronting the terrorists? How do they expect to hold 200,000 Tall Afar with a local police force of 1,700 where 1,000 are local Sunnis to begin with?
    And why tunnels? 6,000 Iraqi army forces surrounding a neighborhood of probably 1 km x 1 km, and they haven’t discovered these tunnels? All they had to do was to search the perimeter buildings and use drones and sentries to monitor movement.

  • Justin Capone says:

    338 insurgents killed, arrested in Telafar
    BAGHDAD, Sept 10 (KUNA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari on Saturday said that he ordered to begin military operations this morning in Telafar in northern Iraq, while Defense Minister Dr. Sadun Al-Dulaymi said that 338 gunmen were killed or arrested in telafar during the past two days.
    The two officials made their statements at a joint press conference that also included the Minister of Interior Bayan Jabr, Minister of Health Abd Al-Mutalib Ali, and Minister of Trade Abd Al-Basit Mawlud. Al-Jaafari said that he ordered the attacks on telafar in coordination with the Multi-National Force, noting that orders came after calls from the city’s residents to end the presence of insurgents and extremist groups there.
    He noted the presence of Arab fighters among the insurgents in telafar, including Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians, Saudis, Sudanese, Algerians and Tunisians. Minister Jabr said the Iraqi Commandoes will secure borders with Syria to control gunmen’s mobility after the operation in telafar.
    //www.kuna.net.kw/home/story.aspx?Language=en&DSNO=768177
    ————————————————
    Qaeda group threatens chemical attack over Tal Afar
    DUBAI (AFP) – An Al-Qaeda linked Sunni group in Iraq threatened to use chemical weapons against “occupation” and Iraqi forces unless they halt their offensive against rebels in the northern town of Tal Afar.
    “The military bureau of Jaish al-Taefa al-Mansura (Army of the Victorious Community) has decided to strike strategic and sensitive targets belonging to the (US) forces of occupation and apostates (Iraqi government forces) in Baghdad, with non-conventional and chemical weapons” unless the Tal Afar operation is called off, the Internet statement said Sunday.
    The Internet statement, whose authenticity could not be verified, said weapons “developed by the mujahedeen (holy warriors),” would be used “unless the armed onslaught against the city of Tal Afar stops within 24 hours.”
    It was posted on one of the Islamist websites used by the group of Al-Qaeda’s frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the Army of Ansar al-Sunna, another insurgent group linked to the Al-Qaeda network.
    //tinyurl.com/dahvv

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Link to the full map of Iraq
    hamidreza,
    Breath into the brown bag, you’re hyperventalating. No one says the Army units are leaving anytime soon.
    The 190,000 is the total number of security forces, such as border guards, police battalions, etc. The IA is at about 80,000. We are turning over FOBs to them regularly (as soldier’s Dad rightly reminds us).
    Look at it this way, the IA has even to meet its 50% potential, and we are beginning to clear Anbar. Don’t think this fact isn’t lost on the insurgency.

  • strykersoldier says:

    People,
    You want to know the truth? The news reports of the 500 US Forces in Tal’Afar this last year not cutting it, is Bullshit. I was there, Its the lack of leadership in the 3rd ACR that let it get bad. We had NW Iraq under control. Yes it would have been nice to have more US and IA soldiers. But we didn’t when 3rd ACR took over. They we’re all high and mighty. Saying things like “we don’t need any advise for you. We were here the first time.” If you look at the numbers. The detainee captured, weapons siezed, KIA AIF in the same time time frame. The 500 or so soldiers did far better then the whole 3rd ACR and the 100,000 IA. Also about the tunnels. there are tunnels and caves all over the place. Look at a map no haji can build a tunnel the runs from talafar to syria. The can barely keep their cars running. let alone build a tunnel of that size.
    STYRKER SOLDIER

  • Justin Capone says:

    Bill,
    How long do you think major operations in Anbar will take? Do you think there will be an Iraqi Army presence in all the major towns and cities in Anbar by the end of the year?

  • hamidreza says:

    Thanks Bill for the link. Its creepy how “God” placed all those oil fields in the Arab lands, and avoided placing them in Kurdistan, Turkey, or Syria !
    Could it be that Jaafari’s and Talebani’s recently acquired penchant to deploy the IA meaningfully (Tall Afar) is related to the 10/15 elections? In order for the Constitution to pass, there can’t be more than 2 provinces that reject it (each by 2/3 of the vote).
    Anbar and Salaheddin are lost provinces. Thus remains one of Ninawa and Diyala to veto the Constitution. Diyala is 50% Shiite, thus it should not be possible to vote down the constitution in Diyala. That leaves Ninawa. There were 150,000 Sunni votes in Tall Afar and probably another 100,000 in Sinjar and Rabia (which have been slated for the next leg of the clear and hold operation).
    By pacifying the Sunni region to the West of Mosul, or declaring the area too dangerous for polling, it could very well be that the number of NO votes has been reduced below the 2/3 threshold in Ninawa. After all, there were no reports of insurgents in Tall Afar preventing Sunnis from registering for the referendum. That would be 2 birds with one stone.
    If this has been the design, then it does not bode well for post-Constitution politics, as the Sunnis will certainly feel that they have been shortchanged in the process.
    Do you get the creepy feeling that SCIRI and Dawa actually don’t mind that the Sunnis are slugging it out with the Americans, and only deploy the IA when it is absolutely necessary, keeping both elements busy at each other while the Shiites concentrate on consolidating power with the help of Iran? This would explain all the car bombs and IEDs manufactured in Iran, and imported into Iraq by the Sunnis, and also the recent Afghani stream into Iraq.
    The non-Islamist Sunnis should realize that at this point the Americans are their best friends, and they should stop shooting themselves in the foot. The insurgency will lead to their own disenfranchisement and allow Iran to gain a strong foothold in Iraq.

  • Justin Capone says:

    SCIRI and Dawa are as dangerous to the future of Iraq as the ex-Baathists we are fighting. That is why I am hoping big time that the Sunnis come out to vote in December and Allawi gobbles up more of the Shia vote. Which would concentrate power in the hands of the moderate Shia.
    My greatest fear right now is that they force through the Constitution and it just passes by nook or by crook. And, this along with the Saddam trial just further incites the Sunnis toward anger and they boycott the December election, which means that the SCIRI and Dawa control Iraq and the US might as well leave and let these guys slug it out with their militias.
    The Constitutional negotiations are still going on so I still have some hope they will come to some kind of agreement. But, if they don’t and it stays as is, I actually really hope it gets shot down in the Referendum.
    ———————————————–
    Iraqi politicians yet to agree on constitution
    Iraqi politicians have failed to conclude negotiations on a draft constitution and it remains unclear when a final text may be printed.
    “We don’t know when they’ll finish,” Nicholas Haysom, the United Nations official charged with the printing, said.
    Mr Haysom says negotiations are continuing.
    //www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200509/s1457905.htm

  • Rookie says:

    At Strykersoldier: I’m all ears: I posted in the previous news “Border Shutdown West of Tal Afar” that this tunnel thing is fishy: you dig tunnels in months time, which terrorist did not had, and going were: to open space, in the desert? Maybe it was old infrastructure, and this should be known already. Especially with previous experience in the area.
    There were some news regarding soldiers complaining about the fact that they fought their way in the cities, losing enough friends to motivate them further, took control only to be retreated days after, or even during fight: is lack of troops or something worse? The failed leadership must be publicised, so it can be changed.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Strykersoldier,
    The press is just not let go of the “not enough troops” argument. It is a political argument. The “out of control” statements of the press are a bit misleading. The meaning of “Out of Control” is different in depending on whether a persons reference point is a rough neighborhood in Detroit as opposed to the best neighborhood in Beverly Hills.
    I’m pretty sure the MSM definition of out of control is pretty close to “No god fearing, church going person would walk the streets at 2 AM”.
    In any case, I would just like to say that I think the Strykers have done an amazing job given the manpower in Ninewa.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Bill,
    An awful lot of news.
    //www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2005/20050911_2691.html
    “Perhaps most significantly, multinational forces reportedly raided a terrorist safe house in Zanazil, near Mosul, on Sept. 10, detaining four terrorists and killing a key al Qaeda leader, Abu Zayd.
    Zayd was the al Qaeda military emir of Mosul, officials said. He was reportedly responsible for coordinating all terrorist operations in the city, including kidnappings, extortion, murder, intimidation of Mosul citizens, and attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces. Abu Zayd also directed the use of foreign fighters within his organization”

  • Justin Capone says:

    I just came up with a really great idea to solve the current political dillema we face in Iraq.
    The biggest fear I have is that the Constitution will be pushed through on October 15th and it will pass just by a little bit. And, that along with the Saddam trial will push Sunnis to not vote in the election that will be by far the most important to date. If the Sunnis vote in that election they will have representation and the pro-Iranian parties along with the insurgency will be screwed.
    As the Constitution still hasn’t been approved and sent to the presses yet I think it would be a great idea to merge the Constitutional Referendum and the final elections and have them both in December.
    That would prevent alot of problems that could come from the Sunnis having a Constitution they don’t like forced on them. Because, they would have representation and a new government based either on the new Constitution or the old one after that election.

  • hamidreza says:

    It is despicable how Talebani and the Shiites are playing loosy and goofy with the constitutional process and totally ignoring deadlines and approval stages as required by the TAL. Talebani should have sided with Allawi and the few Sunnis and pushed for a more secular, federal, and cooperative Constitution. Instead he is pushing for ethnic and sectarian interests, and creating the grounds for more conflicts. I suppose his reasoning is that the Kurds can always play their trump card of seccession backed by US bases, if necessary. The American “realist” establishment undoubtedly is encouraging a divisive Constitution as opposed to a cooperative Constitution. This is not good for the Kurds and Sunnis, and even the Shiites in the long run, but does satisfy their short term interests.
    I doubt that with Operation Restoring Rights that Ninawa province will be able to veto down the “Islamic Republic of Iraq” Constitution anymore.
    Also I am not convinced that Allawi can win any more seats on 12/15. If anything Sadr if he has an iota of smarts, will change tactics and will enter the campaign decisively and independent of Sistani.
    Looks like Sistani with the help of the Kurds is pulling another ‘Khomeini’ with the constitutional drafting process.
    Ayatolla Khomeini single handedly wrote the Iranian constitution, where he allowed a symbolic and spiritual role for the clerical establishment in the person of the “Spiritual Supreme Leader”. He then got the blessing of the treasonous nationalists, leftist and even seculars to back his constitution and put it to referendum without debate.
    Then a few weeks before the plebiscite, and right before the final copy was to be published by the government, he singlehandedly changed the wording in the text from “spiritual supreme leader” to “absolute supreme leader”. Before the other parties could cry foul, millions of copies were printed and distributed, and the referendum happened two weeks later.
    The “absolute supreme leader” constitution received 98% of the vote. The rest is history.
    The Saddam card is as Justin says, another way to buy Shiite votes by the Islamist Shias. Jaafari is going to claim that he has brought security to Baghdad and the Shiite areas to the south, and he was the one to put Saddam on trial. Being in control of the electoral process and the government, virtually assures SCIRI and Dawa a good share of the future parliament.
    The Sunnis are joining the process, but too late and too halfheartedly. SCIRI and Dawa have no desire to see them included in the process. And Talebani is playing to their tune for short sighted reasons. And the American “get our boys out” movement, whether isolationist, leftist, illiberal, or realist will only assure a mess of a Middle East for the next umpteen generations.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Let me clarify,
    They would have the Constitutional Referendum and the final elections at the same time. That would kill two birds with one stone and make certain that the Sunnis will be a large part in the new government that will rule for the next four years.
    Right now I am greatly afraid the Sunnis will boycott the December 15th elections and the pro-Iranian parties would just love that. They have planned to big punches to the gut of the Sunnis next month. The first with the Constitution and the second with Saddam’s trial. I fear that might be enough to push the Sunnis out of the political process again.

  • Justin Capone says:

    hamidreza,
    If the Sunnis vote in the December election, your pessimism will be unwarrented.
    Remember it takes a 2/3rds majority to form a government in Iraq. The combination of Allawi and the Sunni parties and some secular Kurds will be enough to keep another pro-Iranian government from being formed. And, they will be forced to have a more moderate and secular government then last time around.
    But, that is only if the Sunnis vote.

  • hamidreza says:

    Justin, even if they combine the two plebiscites, the Sunnis if unhappy with the Constitution, can vote NO for it and at the same time NOT mark the ballot for a political party (or is it unfortunately now an individual in the new constitution). This will have the same effect as a boycott.
    To form a govenment (PM) in the TAL, it only required simple majority 50% vote. To select the Head of State (President) 2/3 is needed. But if the President cannot get his PM approved (because the Shiites with or without the Sunnis in parliament) can always get the PM appointment blocked as it requires 50% approval – then the right to appoint the PM will go from the President to the Parliament, and the Shiites will be able to install a government with 50% vote (with or without Sunni participation).
    Now how much of this has survived the new Constitution, I dont know. If anything, the new constition will be more favorable to the emergence of “personalities” and strongmen leaders, who will rule for decades, in tune with the Arab and Islamic despotic political culture (and lack of democratic culture).

  • Justin Capone says:

    Justin, even if they combine the two plebiscites, the Sunnis if unhappy with the Constitution, can vote NO for it and at the same time NOT mark the ballot for a political party (or is it unfortunately now an individual in the new constitution). This will have the same effect as a boycott.
    ————————————————
    No way, the Sunnis won’t come into the voting booths unhappy, they will come into the voting booths angry and intent on getting power for their community and killing the Constitution. So the idea that they would vote no and then not vote for one of their candidates is idiotic and contrary to human nature. However, I could see them become disallustioned with the whole process if the Constitution goes through inspite of their votes and then chosing to not vote in the final election two months later.

  • leaddog2 says:

    I really DO NOT expect the Constitution to be voted down. As to December, who knows?
    Long Range, Iran WILL NOT EXIST as a theocratic
    government, so why worry about Iraq in that regard?
    In other words, either the Iranian people or the U.S. will take out the Iranoian Islamists. Yes, a lot of people will die, but since they will mostly be Islamofascists, so what?

  • leaddog2 says:

    a typo…. “Iranian”

  • smudmeister says:

    neutron bombs, neutron bombs, neutron bombs, neutron bombs, neutron bombs, neutron bombs. Don’t send in mechanized forces, use neutron bombs. Those who support the enemy should melt and turn purple and orange with the enemy. A dose of initial ionising radiation should remedy the problem, wipe out the enemy strongholds with neutron bombs and then engage fleeting and re-mobilizing terrorists with rockets and miniguns from gunships. And use Mk-77 firebombs too for effect against dug in tangos.
    If you never used humvees with gay abandon and used tracked apc’s instead (M113) and stayed off the roads you wouldn’t have lost 1500 men to command detonated ambushes. Same too for the brits using armoured landrovers…tut tut tut.

  • Mixed Humor says:

    Good coverage and perspective Bill…here’s how I see the overall situation in as uncomplicated terms as possible:
    With American and Iraqi soldiers seizing Tal Afar and killing or capturing hundreds of insurgents, including many foreign fighters, offensive operations in the Ninevah province are yeilding results. A six month campaign of targeting terror leaders in Mosul has left the insurgency desperate, suffering low morale, and finding operating conditions more difficult by the day. The border with Syria has been locked down, and following heavy pre-battle preparations around Tal Afar and an increasing number of tips from Iraqi citizens, the insurgents and terrorists in that region are being suffocated ahead of the upcoming constitutional referendum vote.
    Along the Euphrates, former cites of violence like Ramadi, Fallujah, and Haditha remain security threats, but no longer afford the havens insurgents once used them as. They have slowly been pushed further and further up the Euphrates valley, and while still capable of carrying out attacks in the lower half along the road to Baghdad, the heavy fighting has taken place near the Syrian border in towns like al-Qa’im and Husabayah. U.S. airpower has played a major role in striking at the terror leadership and safe havens of the Zarqawi network, and some Sunni tribes are actively engaging al Qaeda and foreign fighters, turning a one time logistical hub into a combat zone.
    Iraqi security forces are becoming more capable by the day, and now playing major roles in combat actions, search and cordon missions, and security details. Coalition forces have turned over Najaf to the Iraqi’s, in the first of many such turnovers in the northern Kurdish regions and southern Shi’ite regions. With each turnover, more coalition troops will be free to focus on the Euphrates valley, Baghdad, and the Syrian border. Iraqi security forces also continue to grow, now numbering over 190,000.
    Over the last two weeks of Operation Restoring Rights, coalition forces have captured 211 suspected terrorists, and killed 141 others. Army Colonel Billy J. Buckner said on Saturday that operations were “degrading the overall effectiveness of al-Qaeda terrorist network in Iraq and its ability to conduct operations in Iraq.”

  • leaddog2 says:

    Can someone answer this question, Please? WHY do we take Islamist prisoners at all?
    It makes no real sense to capture Islamists. In my opinion, it only makes sense to exterminate them!

  • GJ says:

    leaddog2, probably for intelligence reasons. From what I can tell those people are cowards to the core, Bill Maher notwithstanding. Especially when the leaders are caught, they cower in their boots. That’s probably why the leaders aren’t involved in homicide attacks, instead convince others to do it. Reminds me of the mini-series, ‘The Grid’. The ending was great. The terrorist leader was caught and a British intelligence officer pulled him out of the car and put a gun to his head. He was begging for his life. I suspect this is typical of those who are in charge, bin Laden being one of them. No doubt he will cower in his boots if captured and confronted.
    I’ve done much research lately and it seems most all these terrorists are part of the Muslim Brotherhood. A group consisting of neary 7 million. This group was started in the 1920’s and was affiliated with the Nazis at one point. So the idea we’re ‘Creating new terrorists’ is a fallacy. If there are truly that many we certainly are in for the long haul and need as much intelligence as possible. I, therefore, think we should use harsh means for interrogation. Using dogs, sleep deprivation, and the like should be used. And finally, get the damn lawyers out of the loop. If we have another attack as 9-11 they should be the ones to blame.

  • Rookie says:

    leaddog2, my question exactly… the bright side is now mostly Iraqis are doing interrogations… no sensitivity training here. A lot of info can be obtained without using word “please”. Also some of them can be hanged, already there were some executions of terrorists involved in killing civilians or POW..
    But for sure some of them will be released, and I don’t like this a bit. The only good jihadi is a dead jihadi.

  • leaddog2 says:

    “already there were some executions of terrorists involved in killing civilians or POW..”
    Really??? I missed that. I knew they hung
    some convicted murderers and rapists, but
    they were not Islamist fighters, just some
    Sadrist thugs.

  • strykersoldier says:

    For Rookie and soldiers Dad,
    Rookie; The borders of Iraq/Syria in most areas consist of a double mounds of dirt with some areas having AT-AP mine fields. There are breaks in the mounds every where. Syria says they are cutting down on traffic bull. I watched as 2 cars full of smuggeled goods stop at a Syria guard post then came over to Iraq. The only real uses of tunnels or caves in Ninewa Prov is caches thats all. As for taking control of the city then retreating later. Again Bull, If we did any mission and came under contact in talafar. We would drop ancher and fight. If that ment a couple of hours or a week in one area thats what we did.
    Soldiers Dad; The statements “not enough troops” or “out of control” was only used by the 3rd ACR. Strykers by design are a urban platform. You put a heavy unit in a town to do a urban unit job. Thats all you are going to hear crying.
    Strykersoldier

  • hamidreza says:

    Strykersoldier, what is the status of the towns surrounding talafar in that region? Are they overrun by the enemy, or are they in the control of friendly townsfolk? What stops rat lines to develop in the desert and off the main roads?
    What about small cities like Sinjar and Rabaiya? Do they also need to be emptied and cleared and hold?
    Is there any way to electronically tag the population and maintain a central database so that at checkpoints they can arrest the fighting age men that are from out of town?

  • Rookie says:

    leaddog2,
    my mistake; I read first one news that some terrorist will be hanged for their actions (could not find it anymore), then, two days later, this news emerged:
    “The government statement said they were convicted of killing three police officers, kidnapping and rape”
    It’s not clear if they were the previous ones or just common murderers. Not that the other ones are more “noble”.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis