Monthly Archives: October 2005

Sa’ud, Syria and Security

Coalition forces maintain the hunt for al Qaeda and insurgents along the Syrian border. Abu Sa’ud, a Saudi al Qaeda commander, and three of his associates were killed when attempting to evade a Coalition dragnet, which was initiated by tips from locals in Ubaydi and intelligence sources. The intel on Sa’ud is interesting; “Intelligence sources […]

Troops Numbers – Top Up, Draw Down, Overlap and FOB Closings

(Note from Bill Roggio: This post was written by Soldier’s Dad, who has been a valuable source of information on U.S. troop deployments in Iraq.) By now, the entire world is confused about U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Senator Kerry says less troops, Sen McCain says more troops. Gen Casey says some reductions are probable. […]

An Interview with Colonel Davis

Late Friday I conducted an interview with Colonel Stephen W. Davis, the Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team – 2, who is responsible for fighting in western Anbar province, also known as AO Denver. Col. Davis made himself available for a phone interview via phone, and I appreciate his patience with communications problems (between the […]

The Cicero Articles

While President Ahmadinejad’s call for the annihilation of Israel elicited (and rightly so) a great deal of international outcry even among the Iranian regime’s staunchest defenders, at some point one must consider that it is far more important what the Iranian government does than what it says. Towards that end, I would like to call […]

Strikes in Husaybah

Insurgents and foreign fighters continue to take a beating on the border. Yesterday, a senior al Qaeda fighter in the region was targeted with precision air strikes while conducting a meeting with other local commanders. Abu Mahmud is described as a Saudi commanding multiple terror cells in Husaybah, with connections to other facilitators in Qaim, […]

The Iranian Problem Revisited

Evidence of Iran’s involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. Iran is the main sponsor of Hezbollah, which has been referred to as the “A-Team” of terrorist groups because of their organization, technical abilities, fundraising, connections and sponsorships. The 9-11 Commission has explicitly linked Iran, Hezbollah and al Qaeda; “Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to al […]

Anbar Journey Update

I’ll have an update on the progress on the trip to Iraq later today. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet donated, please consider doing so today. This is an extremely costly venture and I can use all of the help you can give me. The fundraising has gone real well, but we are only […]

Western Anbar Roundup

Military operations continue along the Euphrates River basin as Coalition forces look to consolidate their gains after Operations Iron Fist and River Strike. Several terrorists were killed and a large weapons cache was uncovered during raids on safe houses in the city of Hit. Coalition forces struck a safe house in the town of Ushsh […]

Northern Exposure

al Qaeda’s northern network in the Mosul region continues to take a pounding. Over the weekend, five terrorists, including two “senior-level leaders responsible for planning and funding terrorism” were captured based on tips from the citizens of Tal Afar. Two others were killed in a firefight in Mosul. Today, the Coalition announced the two killed […]

On the Pod

Shaun Daily of Subject2Discussion has invited me to join his webcast/podcast to discuss foreign affairs and policy. The program will be aired live October 26 from 10pm to 12midnight on the East Coast. If you wish to hear the program you can do so with or without an IPOD by following these instructions: If you […]

The Palestinian Hotel; Selective Memory and Outrage

The attack on the Palestinian Hotel has created a media backlash against violence directed against journalists, but not against al Qaeda in particular. Media giant Reuters weighs in on yesterday’s multiple suicide assault. While Suicide bombings have been the calling card of al Qaeda in Iraq and its Islamist affiliates and allies, incredulously, Reuters feigns […]

More Western Raids

The establishment of permanent bases in Sa’dah near the Syrian border during Operation Iron Fist is paying dividends. In two separate raids over the weekend, twenty five terrorists were killed and one captured. Raids during the past two days have yielded similar results. Yesterday, Coalition forces targeted terrorist in the towns of Husaybah and Karabilah. […]

Attack on the Palestine Hotel

After remaining silent during the referendum on Iraq’s constitution and over one week afterwards, al Qaeda in Iraq launches a coordinated attack on the Palestine Hotel. The target choice was carefully chosen by al Qaeda for maximum media exposure as the hotel is widely used by the international media. Reuters said it best; “The bombings […]

A Tale of Two Miqdadiyahs

Miqdadiyah, a city located northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province with a population of 100,000, has quietly made the news over the past month. Iraqi troops recently arrested Ayub Ali, “who is believed to be responsible for a two-year campaign of roadside bombs, political assassination and other attacks in the areas surrounding Muqdadiyah and nearby […]

Back to the Ramadi Problem

The restive city of Ramadi takes center stage as Coalition forces consolidate gains along the Euphrates River. Ramadi has seen an uptick in fighting since September. The New York Time‘s Sabrine Tavernise writes a balanced article on the situation in Ramadi. The article tacks very closely to what we reported in Controlling Ramadi on September […]

Ops in Baghdad – National Unity

During Operations Iron Fist, River Gate and Mountaineers, it was obvious the Coalition was also pressing an operation in the Baghdad environs. Press reports from CENTCOM made it clear that concurrent operations were taking place as a series of raids resulted in over 250 suspects detained and numerous weapons caches and car bombs were discovered. […]

Western Raids

Coalition forces continue to strike in the Qaim region on the border with Syria. While prior operations in and around Qaim mainly consisted of airstrikes with ground raids being secondary, the recent strikes along the border appear to be primarily ground raids, with air support being used to destroy weapons dumps and safe houses after […]

Iraq: Terrorist Training Ground, Killing Field, or Both?

Is Iraq a training ground for terrorists, or the “flypaper” that lures terrorists to Iraq where they are in the reach of the U.S. military? Jim Judd, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service calls Iraq a “post-graduate faculty for terrorism” where foreign terrorists are receiving vital training. Mr. Judd’s statement acknowledges that Iraq […]

Securing the Syrian Border – An Unconventional Solution

Efforts to secure the Syrian frontier from infiltration is a key element to defeating the insurgency, as Syria has acted as a safe haven for foreign jihais, al Qaeda and the remnants of Saddam’s Baathists. While some estimates place the foreign jihadis as low as 5% of the insurgency, they make up the most dangerous […]

The Anbar Campaign – A Flash Presentation

By Steve Schippert, Marvin Hutchens and Bill Roggio The Coalition must execute political, economic and military solutions to defeat the insurgency and establish a democratic nation in Iraq. The creation of democratic institutions, promotion of elections, inclusion of minority parties in the political process, co-opting the non-radical domestic elements of the insurgency, and the establishment […]

Assault on Camp Gannon Repelled; and River Gate Continues

Last spring, al Qaeda unwisely assaulted Camp Gannon, the U.S. Marine outpost located in Husaybah on the Syrian border. While the attack was championed in the press as proof of the strength and staying power of al Qaeda, the terrorists suffered an awful defeat when attempting to attack the Marines en masse. Estimates put the […]

The Ramadi Problem

Ramadi remains a focus of insurgent attacks and Coalition efforts to suppress them. Elections turnout during Saturday’s referendum on the constitution was light in Ramadi, with an estimated 2,000 votes cast of a city of over 400,000, and five U.S. and two Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb on Election Day. Operation Mountaineers […]

Back to the Syrian Border

Iraq has successfully conducted its referendum on the proposed constitution with a minimal amount of violence, an estimated thirteen security incidents nation wide. al Qaeda’s Great Ramadan Offensive has failed. The Washington Post reports “Turnout was strong in three heavily Sunni provinces that had been expected to vote against it: Salahuddin, with 75 percent turnout […]

The Constitution Referendum, and the Not-So-Great Ramadan Offensive

The Iraqis have voted on the referendum. Turnout is reported to be high in many areas of Iraq. Saddam’s own hometown in Tikrit is estimated to have had a 78% turnout. Dr. Fareed Ayar, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, estimates over 11 million particpated in the ballot, almost 70% of the […]

Election Day Eve in Iraq

The referendum on Iraq’s constitution is just hours away. Coalition forces have labored for months to provide a manageable security environment to allow the citizens of Iraq to cast their ballots. The recent operations in Anbar have driven al Qaeda and the insurgency underground in the cities and towns along the Euphrates River. Despite al […]

Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana – A Permanent Presence

Marines from 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, search for improvised explosive devices in the city of Haditha, Iraq during Operation River Gate. Operation Hunter, the overarching operation that includes Iron Fist and River Gate, is living up to its reputation of moving Iraqi forces westward and establishing bases in […]

Sunni Divisions

The constitutional compromise has created an open division between a Sunni party and an Islamist group. The Islamic Iraqi Party, the most influential Sunni-led political party, rescinded its opposition to the constitution and advised its followers to vote “yes” . The Victorious Army Group immediately declared war on the Islamic Iraqi Party, stating the party […]

Iraqi Security Forces Update

While the debate continues over the number of “fully operational” (Level 1) Iraqi battalions, the Iraqi Security Forces continue to grow and take on a greater role in security operations. The October 12 edition of This Week in Iraq reports on the progress of the Iraqi Security Forces. Their numbers have surpassed the 200,000, mark, […]

River Gate Update – Day Nine

While the news from the fighting along the Euphrates River has been sparse of late, the Coalition continues to conduct operations in western Anbar. At this point in time, Operation River Gate mainly consists of targeted raids and searches for insurgent infrastructure such as weapons factories and ammunition dump. There have been twenty six caches […]

Dear Zarqawi: A Letter from Zawahiri, and a Constitutional Compromise

The Office of the Director of National Security has published the much-discussed letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s number two in command, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the commander of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The letter provides insight into the workings of al Qaeda, the perception of Zarqawi’s campaign in Iraq and the status of the […]