Iron Fist – Day Three

Day three of Operation Iron Fist has ended. Captain Jeffery Pool states that reports Marines have taken the fight to Karabilah are “not necessarily accurate” and “the operation is taking place in and around the village of Sa’dah.”

This conflicts with Anna Badkhen’s report that Marines entered the town but withdrew. However it is possible Ms. Badkhen confused the location of the engagement (her report from today is likely a summary of the action encountered Sunday). The most of today’s fighting occurred north and east of Sa’dah, in the direction of Karabilah.

This morning, Marines discovered a bomb in a home east of Karabilah. The bomb detonated as explosive ordnance specialists were approaching the house to dismantle it. No Marines were injured in the explosion.

Northeast of Sa’dah at 11:15 a.m., U.S. forces discovered a weapons cache consisting of ten 82 mm mortar rounds and two 82 mm mortar tubes. The cache site was destroyed.

At noon, U.S. forces killed two al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents north of Karabilah with 81 mm mortar fire. The pair was observed planting a roadside bomb. The bomb was later destroyed by explosive ordnance specialists.

The Marines were also able to confirm that nineteen terrorists were during the air strikes outside of Karabilah which were mentioned yesterday. This puts the unofficial total number of enemy killed at forty-two.

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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  • exhelodrvr says:

    Pretty darn good job by that mortar crew; getting close enough to a small target like that before they could get away.

  • Mike says:

    Originally posted on today’s previous post:
    Do any of y’all have an opinion on the following hypothesis:
    The unfavorable / antagonistic media coverage fulfills Sun Tzu’s dictum: “Appear weak where you are strong, and appear strong where you are weak…”
    My support:
    Portrayals of our (and NIA troops) as incompetent, slow, etc. embolden the thugs, so that they act more aggressively than is wise. This occurs on the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.
    Note that I am NOT suggesting that the various news organizations are actively cooperating with the military. I consider most of these reporters (of all media) as sanctimonious, carping, traitorous bast*rds. I DO think it is more a matter of our military leadership turning an anticipated vulnerability into an advantage.

  • Jason says:

    Militarily, you might be right. I would imagine that such “wounded bird” tactics may be used on a very small, individual-unit basis.
    However, today’s global political climate is such that OUR OWN PEOPLE could lose us this thing if the support at home drops. Making our military look “incompetent, slow, etc” will contribute to the loss of morale on the home front. Therefore, I think that, on the grand scale, we want to look not only as powerful, but as magnanimus, as possible to the world.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    THeoretically, what you say could work the first time or two; I definitely think that was a factor in bin Laden’s decision for the 9/11 operation. But there is no way that the terrorist/insurgents believe that anymore. Not after Afghanistan, OIF, and all the ops since then. I think that they are just spouting those lines for the sake of the media in the (reasonable) hope that it will affect our staying power.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Sunnis Protest Move to Ease Iraqi Charter Approval
    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 3 – Iraq’s Shiite and Kurdish leaders quietly adopted new rules over the weekend that will make it virtually impossible for the constitution to fail in the upcoming national referendum, prompting Sunni Arabs and a range of independent political figures to complain that the vote was being fixed.
    “This is a mockery of democracy, a mockery of law,” said Adnan al-Janabi, a secular Sunni representative and a member of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s party. “Many Sunnis have been telling me they didn’t believe in this democratic process, and now I believe they are vindicated.”
    I consider the ruling Shia Islamic Parties as big a threat to the future stibility of Iraq as the insurgents.
    The Iraqi people are coming to that conclusion as well. This is a good poll on current Iraqi views on the big issues.

  • Jason says:

    BTW – great blog. I’ve got it bookmarked now.

  • Ike says:

    USATODAY just trashed General Myers and basically called him a liar.

  • Ike says:

    On the political front…the Arab league is coming to Iraq and is planning to meet with most of the political factions and is coming on behalf of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
    Sounds like another positive step to me.

  • TallDave says:

    Great coverage, thanks again.

  • Oded says:

    Bill, I know this is kicking a dead horse concerning the MSM, but could Newsweak write an article with a little less glee and support for terrorism? //
    This article implies that the war in Iraq is simply Terrorist University and that AQ guys come from Afghanistan simply to attend class. The Taliban is resurgent with graduates in bomb making skills etc.
    Is it me or is this writer projecting a positive romantic image of the typical jihadi nutjobs? Is it not lost on Newsweak that these guys are getting the holy hell beat out of them? That there is nothing romantic about suicide bombings, that there is and has been a serious downside to their efforts?
    Yeah, lets have a war against expertly trained and efficient killing machines, have thousands of our brethren blown to bits, run away in utter defeat in every battle and then with the help of Newsweak grab victory from the jaws of defeat by claiming this is just an educational experience and we are better for it!!!
    Sorry about the rant Bill, I know how you feel about this, but sometimes you want to explode. (No pun intended)

  • Justin Capone says:

    The media has been getting to all of us. Basically, we all know that US public support for the war is the center of gravity for the mission and that it is almost gone. The media has been harping for a week on the “one battalion trained number” as has gotten the public thinking Iraq only has one battalion. The media isn’t going to change its sensationalist ways, the best we can do is try to show why and how progress is being made on sites like this.

  • Ike says:

    Thanks to whoever posted that Allwi poll. It’s very encouraging if true.

  • Ike says:

    I just read that article and frankly I am stewing in my own juices as these “reporters” are interviewing and hanging out with Taliban leaders who are training to and trying to kill Americans. I can’t express how infuriating it is. The continuing attempt to legitamize thi

  • Ike says:

    s enemy. Sorry

  • Ike says:

    al Qaeda doesn’t even need their own web broadcasts. I read that NEWSWEEK piece and thought I was listening to a Zawahiri sermon.

  • Ike says:

    Does anyone have sympathy for the “journalists” who are killed or detained when found with the jihadis?

  • Bill Roggio says:

    I discussed this article on September 20th.

  • Oded says:

    Sorry Bill, I must have forgot. Just saw the article today for the first time. Good analysis. Clearly Newswheat has put an icredibly good spin (brilliant really) on what in reality is a losing proposition by all accounts. My point, and I will leave it alone after this, is that there isnt even a pretense. The writers are unashamedly, deliberately romanticizing these ‘brave freedom fighters’ (my quote) to our detriment.
    When the history is finally written and they are on the wrong side of it, having their freedom fighters proven to be the delusional murderers that they are, will they issue an apology?

  • hamidreza says:

    Justic C, thanks for the Almenhdar article.
    It is very encouraging. However, it should be taken with a grain of salt. The sample size is small and the sample population is not defined and probably biased.
    If we can believe this poll, there has been a sea change in the attitude of the Shiites. What it means is that the integrity of the December elections has become critical. I will not be surprised if the losing Shiites are starting to stuff the election committee with their supporters.
    If there is a Constitution in place at that time, then technically the US cannot be involved in the election. And the UN has shown that they have no interest in these matters, where they have to show leadership.
    If we can trust this poll, then it would suggest that the government of SCIRI/Dawa have lost interest in developing a National Iraqi Army, because it would be a challenge to their own militias when they lose the governemnt to Allawi or others.
    Could this explain the lethargic development of the NIA? Where are these 2 battalions coming on line per week? There should be at least one battalion achieving Level 2 per week. Could this be related to the disappearing act of the NIA in operation Hunter? Or is this disappearing act related to what Mike has suggested? Remember, Fallujah in the April 2004 aborted offensive had become a magnet.
    Bill, SD – could a Level 2 NIA be applied to Hunter, or must it require a Level 1?

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    A level 2 NIA could be applied anywhere they have US supporting functions available.
    Bill and I have noted previously that there has been a shift in US Forces. This has been the result of level 2 units coming online in various parts of Iraq. I.E. Najaf and Karbala, portions of Baghdad, portions of Mosul, portions of Diyala province. An ISF unit is on the north side of the river in Western Anbar at Rawah.
    It is probably easier to define where ISF aren’t,(to my knowledge)…which is west of Hit, south of the Eurphates river, and Sammara(there is a police force, but it is ineffective).


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