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 up pressure on insurgents near their Ramadi stronghold. Al-Sharqiyah television said the Americans operating in Hit detained more than 40 men who served in Saddam’s armed forces in ranks ranging from major to brigadier general. The U.S. military did not report the arrests. Ramadi is 70 miles west of Baghdad, and Hit is another 15 miles west.

Ramadi police Lt. Yarub al-Duleimi said American forces blew up three houses in the region, claiming they contained weapons caches. Police Lt. Mohammed Al-Obaidi said a roadside bomb destroyed a U.S. patrol vehicle in the city center at dawn. There was no report of casualties from either the Iraqis or the Americans.

The U.S. is increasing the number of troops in Anbar. An important operating base has been established in Rawah on the north bank of the Euphrates River. A battalion from the 48th Brigade Combat Team has been assigned to operate “west near the Syrian border.” According to the press release, “That battalion will be the only one responsible for controlling a specific piece of terrain” – its mission is to secure a certain area.

In June, the 4,000 man force of the 28th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, from the Pennsylvania National Guard deployed to Anbar. Last month the 2nd Battalion of the 69th Armor Regiment “attach[ed] itself to a Marine outfit 150 kilometers away.” The Marines are operating in Anbar. Elements of the 42nd Division (172nd Armored Regiment) have been assigned to the area, and are taking casualties. The second battalion from the 82nd Airborne Division, the 3/504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, has been assigned to Khan-Al-Baghdadi, west of Hit (pictured). It is no accident that the other battalion from the 82nd, the 2/325, showed up in Tal Afar during the fighting. These units are augmenting the Coalition efforts to strike at the insurgency.

As stated on Friday, there is a Marine battalion in Ramadi, (I believe it is accompanied by an Iraqi battalion), as well as an established police force – note in the AP article above that two officers openly give their names to the press, something they would not be likely to do if they did not feel somewhat secure. There are about 3,000 troops from the Iraqi Intervention Force in Habbaniyah. There is a Marine battalion in Hit, with accompanying Iraqi Army and police units.

The operations appear to be conducted along segments of the Euphrates. Earlier this month, the focus was on the Qaim-Haditha corridor. These were search and destroy operations, designed to keep the enemy off balance. The Iraqi Security Forces, with the help of U.S. military, appears to be poised to execute the clear and hold in the Hit-Ramadi corridor. If the forces are available, and they look to be, the timing is right to secure these cities and towns just prior to the October 15th referendum on the constitution.

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


  • cjr says:

    In July, the 2nd bde/28th div replaced the 2nd bde/2nd div in Ramadi. Havent heard much from them since. I wonder what they are up to?

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    The Pennsylvania Guard(28th ID) has been seen from Bayji to Ramadi. Without actually tracking individual companies…it is impossible to say where they are or how many are where. It looks like the 48th is being spread all over as well.
    IMHO There is a baseline of 13 brigades, with any of the Brigades outside of that baseline basically being assigned “as required”. The pentagon must surely have 5 different force structure models.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Soldier’s Dad,
    Thanks for reminding me about the 2nd BCT of the 28th. I mentioned that in June, and updated the post accordingly.

  • vucommodore says:

    Looks like Muqtada Sadr is causing trouble again.
    What do you think is the best way to deal with him Bill?

  • Justin Capone says:

    A bullet in Muqta’s head wouldn’t be a bad thing, especially if other Shia end up being the ones who fire it.
    But, truth be told I have been hoping Sadr would run in the elections to further split the religious Shia vote.

  • Kartik says:

    If Zarqawi has declared war on Shias, then doesn’t that put him at odds with Muqtaqa al-Sadr?
    Can we get them to annihilate each other?

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Moqtada’s doing what all malcontent hotheads do when they don’t get their way. Make trouble.
    Unfortunately, Moqtada is a Shiite, which means he answers to Sistani.(Sunni’e don’t have a hierarchy, Shiites do).
    Today Moqtada issued an official statement asking his supporters to avoid all forms of violence.

  • Kartik says:

    Wait, something doesn’t add up.
    If Sadr actually answers to Sistani, what was Sadr fighting the US and killing US troops, something Sistani never advocated?
    And if Sadr answers to Sistani, why don’t they all just declare war on Zarqawi, who has declared war on all Shiites in general?

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Sistani is fairly sparing on those items he will “rule on”. He undermines his own authority if he steps in on every issue and takes sides.
    The same is true in the Catholic Church…lot’s of things happen without the Pope taking a position.
    The Shiite Hierarcy in Iraq has said
    1) Not to engage inviolence
    2) Support the constitution
    AlSadr is out of line on both counts. I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church has rules about Priests and young boys/priests and nuns.
    Whether Sistani will have a “quiet word” or publicly condemn AlSadr is pretty close to how the Catholic Church deals with pervert priests.

  • Justin Capone says:

    If anyone wants to read a rant to see how the left feels about the events of the war you should read this Juan Cole rant.
    Now here is someone I agree with below who is critical of alot of things, but doesn’t have a wonder lust for the Sunni enslavement of Iraq.

  • Kartik says:

    For those of us who defend the war, it would be a lot easier if Bush met us half way i.e. gave periodic updates how we are progressing (quantifiable), what we can expect to see in X months, etc. This lack of keeping people informed about the good is letting the media persuade people that there *is* nothing good to talk about.
    It is true the media is against him, but he still does have the power to get on TV and give a speech whenever he wants.

  • Operations along the Euphrates continue

    The Fourth Rail has the latest update on counterinsurgent efforts along the Euphrates River, were coalition forces continue to press insurgents along a stretch between Ramadi and Khan-Al-Baghdadi….

  • Mixed Humor says:

    Great writeup as usual Bill, appreciate being able to read such quality analysis of the situation. And while I’m dishing out high fives, Soldier’s Dad is an excellent reader…also appreciate the insight he offers in the comments sections.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Very good news will be coming from Iraq soon, so saith the rumor mill.

  • Lorenzo says:

    Per Justin’s comment; I have read Juan Cole’s stuff before and is influential to some. A quick review of his Bahai background has found this interesting commentary see:

    [page 8]
    A further interesting pronouncement of Abdul-Baha was made in November
    of that year in Cincinnati when he is said to have foretold in the following
    words that America would be the instigator of the League of Nations:
    “America is a noble nation, a standard bearer of peace throughout the
    world, shedding her light to all regions. Other nations are not untrammelled
    [sic] and free of intrigues like the United States, and
    are unable to bring about Universal Peace. But America, thank God, is
    at peace with all the world, and is worthy of raising the flag of
    brotherhood and International Peace. when the summons to International
    Peace is raised by America, all the rest of the world will cry: `Yes,
    we accept.’ The nations of every clime will join in adopting the teachings
    of Bahaullah, revealed over fifty years ago. In
    His Epistles He asked the Parliaments of the world to send their best
    and wisest men to an international world-parliament that should decide
    all questions between the peoples and establish peace. then we shall
    have the Parliament of Man of which the prophets have dreamed.

    This excerpt is a commentary to America’s age just before we entered into WW1. The global terrorists of al Qaeda today are not of their prophets dream.

  • Dawn Patrol

    Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics – from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you’re a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link…

  • JAF says:

    Yes, this is an excellent page giving the good and the bad. My only complaint is that Bill doesn’t post often enough.

  • Robert M says:

    Update on arms from Iran:,,2087-1796566,00.html
    For more on Penn National Guard look up todays(Mon25 sep05) Inky has frontpage articles on them.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Another “Emir” and 20 followers meet their maker in al-Ushsh, Iraq (Near Syrian Border)
    126 Terrorists caught

  • USMC_Vet says:

    “…note in the AP article above that two officers openly give their names to the press, something they would not be likely to do if they did not feel somewhat secure.”

    This importance of this observation can not be over-stated, in my view.
    I did not understand what you meant when you said:

    “For those of us who defend the war, it would be a lot easier if Bush met us half way i.e. gave periodic updates how we are progressing…”

    If you defend the war, and Bush needs to meet you ‘half way’, where do you percieve that he is coming from to meet you there? Do you mean secrecy or silence? The reference wasn’t clear.
    On Muqtada al-Sadr’s problematic existance and al-Zarqawi’s (former) declaration of war on him and the whole of the Shia community (in a fit of desperation and overzealousness), it is very, very important to remember that Zarqawi realized he had bitten off more than his wounded dog could chew. Not long afterwards, he was cow-towing to al-Sadr ‘clarifying’ exceptions for those Shia who would resist the US and the Iraqi gov’t…clearly this was directed squarely at al-Sadr.
    Zarqawi, much to the contrary of his own initial declaration and the perception of the world media, most certainly does not want a civil war. He knows for certain that he would be crushed far sooner than he inevitably will be without adding Muqi to the list of sources of inbound rounds.
    For the observant, the successes are clear and the light at the end of the tunnel becoming clearly visible. What is unfortunate is that the majority of the media are not among the ‘observant’, though they should be duty-bound to at least strive for.
    What has happened (in my view) is that many have come to realize that an alert, passionate and capable citizen can almost immediately read the same press releases from within our own domestic ‘Green Zones’ and more readily and accurately portray developments.
    Being in a media pool in Baghdad no longer serves a purpose (beyond a video backdrop) unless that member actually leaves those confines to report events first-hand at least on occaision.
    Short of that, it is my belief that it has become clear that there are Subject Matter Experts (or at the least, veterans grossly more versed on military operations than pool reporters) at home with access to the same information and capable of conveying that information in a more accurate manner.
    A graduate of the respected Columbia School of Journalism (or Northwestern’s) may have a mastery of the English language and astute reporting skills, but if that otherwise capable individual does not have a grasp of military operations, both strategic and tactical approaches, well…then you get what you get.
    The media would be far better served to have SME’s in the function of journalists in war coverage than journalists in the function of SME’s.
    As much as many may lament biased reporting, the true problem exists before any bias, real or perceived, enters the equation.

  • TM Lutas says:

    USMC_Vet – Pro-war civilians who wish to volunteer their time to counter enemy propaganda need true information to contribute as effectively as possible. Given enough of an information vacuum, we can do more harm than good by wrongly speculating on what’s happening. Meeting us halfway means giving us the tools to allow our sacrifice of time and effort to be effective in supporting the troops and the nation. I do not think such requests are unreasonable, nor do I think that information distribution cannot be improved. The Bush administration can do better and I hope that it will, for the country’s sake.


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