Monthly Archives: September 2005

A Fresh Offensive in Tal Afar

Reports of the end of the Tal Afar offensive are greatly exaggerated. Reuters states an Iraqi brigade has launched a new operation in the city, “killing 40 insurgents and arresting 21 “terrorist emirs,” or senior insurgent leaders.” The Kuwait News Agency reports that eighty percent of the city is now under Coalition control, so there […]

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 […]

Border Shutdown West of Tal Afar

The Iraqi government has instituted a curfew and closed the border crossing in the town of Rabiah, which is directly West of Tal Afar, the city where the Coalition has initiated an assualt. “The decree closed the border to all transportation, including the railroad, except for vehicles with special permission from the Interior Ministry.” The […]

The Anbar Campaign Intensifies

The final assault on Tal Afar has commenced. The joint U.S. and Iraqi strike force has begun searching homes door-to-door after targeted airstrikes in the center of town. It is estimated over one-third of the city has been swept by Coalition forces. Defense Minister Dulaimi said the operation in Tal Afar was planned several months […]

The “Islamic Republic of Qaim”

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the border city of Qaim was overrun by al Qaeda jihadis, who soon afterward declared it the “Islamic Republic of Qaim” and proceeded to implement Shariah law. These claims have been under no uncertain terms refuted by the Marines: Maj. Neil Murphy, a spokesman for II Marine Expeditionary […]

al Qaeda vs the Magic Kingdom

In a recent poll at an online forum of radical Islamists closely associated with al Qaeda in Iraq, the participants overwhelmingly endorsed taking the fight to Saudi Arabia (72 to 28% in favor). In the same timeframe, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has openly denounced the royal family of Saudi Arabia. “The […]

The Battle for the Border IV

The Coalition continues to maintain the tempo of combat operations in Western Anbar and Tal Afar. Qaim In the region of Qaim, the U.S. focuses on local intelligence and airpower to target al Qaeda leaders and fighters, and disrupt their operations. Within the last twenty four hours, two more air strikes are conducted in the […]

Balad of the Hellfire

The act of attacking U.S. forces becomes increasingly difficult as the U.S. military leverages its technical abilities. Several days ago insurgents unwisely decided to attack the Balad Air Base (also known as “Mortaritaville” for the large number of inbound mortar attacks). The U.S. Army was prepared. They detected the firing location and requested the dispatched […]

A photo from the front

SSG Levi sends us a picture of his squad, wearing their new sunglasses. Many thanks to all who have contributed to the Adopt-a-Squad program, making the purchase of the sunglasses and a host of other items for SSG Levi’s squad possible. If you wish to continue to contribute, please click this link for details, or […]

Tal Afar: Calm Before the Storm in Sarai

After cordoning off the Sarai neighborhood of Tal Afar, U.S. troops are waiting for residents to leave before executing the assault. The residents are refusing to leave. Ethnic Sunni Turkmens make up the majority of those living in the Sarai neighborhood, and they fear reprisals from the Shiite minority if they follow the proscribed evacuation […]

Qaim and the Big Picture

The fluid security situation in Qaim, where the pro-government Albu Mahla tribe is battling with al Qaeda for control over the city of Qaim, has many Iraq watchers scratching their heads. Who exactly is in control? In a Washington Post article titled Insurgents Assert Control Over Town Near Syrian Border, the authors claim al Qaeda […]

Operation Restoring Rights in Tal Afar

The battle of Tal Afar intensifies. Operation Restoring Rights is easily the largest since Fallujah, based on both the size of the assault force – five to six battalions, about 5,000 U.S. and Iraqi infantry – and the scope of the objective. Tal Afar is a city of over 150,000, ranking it just behind Fallujah […]

Battle along the Northern Ratline

U.S. and Iraqi forces have launched the largest operation since Fallujah last November. Over 5,000 U.S. and Iraq troops strike at the town of Tal Afar, which is located west of Mosul, along the northern ratline from Syria. The insurgents have taken heavy casualties, and U.S. Army helicopter pilots are learning to spot IED deployments […]

Tales of the Tape

A video of the purported leader of the London 7/7 attacks, Mohammad Sidique Khan, has surfaced, and was aired on Al Jazeera. In the tape, Khan blames “democratically elected governments” for inciting the jihadis, and vows the jihadis will continue to conduct acts of terror until the West surrenders; “Until we feel secure you will […]

The Battle for the Border III

The Battle for the Border continues. On the heels of last Friday and this Tuesday’s air strikes and tribal fighting, Marine attack aircraft pound a train station being used as an al Qaeda weapons storage depot and headquarters last evening. Marine Captain Jack Pool emails “Over the past two days, numerous reliable sources have observed […]