Iron Fist IV – Day Two

Day two of Operation Iron Fist has completed. Captain Jeffery Pool issues a status update. Thirteen insurgents are confirmed killed in the fighting, twelve others are suspected killed or wounded after six JDAMs (GPS guided bombs) struck a safe house. Five civilian casualties are reported, and no Marines were killed or injured during the intense fighting. Combat has indeed spread to the area surrounding Karabilah, as predicted this morning.:

In one incident, at approximately 11:45 a.m. this morning, seven insurgents were engaged by Marine aircraft West of Sa’dah. Four of the insurgents were confirmed killed and the remaining three fled into a nearby building. The building contained an estimated nine additional fighters. When the insurgents began firing on Marines, aviation assets were again called in and dropped six precision-guided bombs on the building. The number of enemy killed in the strike is unknown at this time.

At approximately 3:00 p.m., Marines observed a suicide car bomber prematurely detonate his vehicle approximately 200 meters from their position West of Sa’dah. One insurgent was killed and no Marine casualties were reported.

Shortly thereafter near Karabilah, Marines were also engaged by rocket propelled grenades and small-arms fire from a building. Marines returned fire with 81 mm mortars. Eight al Qaeda in Iraq members were observed killed and multiple secondary explosions were seen coming from the building. Coalition forces have four insurgents currently detained.

The first confirmed report of civilian casualties occurs when insurgents intentionally take refuge in a home of non-combatants, and Marines return fire.

At noon, insurgents forcibly entered into a building containing [civilians] and began firing on Marines. Unable to suppress the fire, Marines fired one round from an M1A1 tank into the building. When the target was suppressed, the Marines entered the structure and found five injured civilians. Four of the injured civilians were treated for minor injuries by Marines and released and one was evacuated to Baghdad by Coalition aircraft for further medical treatment. He is reported to be in stable condition.

Insurgents have consistently exhibited a reckless disregard for civilian lives during previous encounters with Marines. As in all operations, Marines go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and were unaware that civilians were located in the building in today’s incident.

The insurgents were seen exiting the building and are believe to have escaped. Al Jazeera quotes Dr Ammar al-Marsumi who states civilians have been killed, “Some people, mostly women and children, have been killed and injured in these areas. We don’t know the exact number of casualties.” Al Jazeera also claims fighting is occurring across the river in Rumana.

The purported fighting in Rumana does not make tactical sense, as the Marine battalion would be required to send elements across the river and divide their combat power. Captain Pool denies both claims Concerning the claims of Dr. al-Marsumi: “We are being quite thorough in assessing the damage, and the only civilians injured, that we have caused or have seen were mentioned in the [press] release.” It is also curious the doctor would not have checked on the casualty list prior to his interview.

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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23 Comments

  • Kartik says:

    How many estimated insurgents are there in Iraq? I mean hard-core, trained insurgents and not 17 year olds who run away when they realize what they got themselves into…
    Are there 500? 5000? 10000?
    It is good news that 13 were killed while no Marine was killed, but does such a small number really matter? Does it help us win this war on the macro scale?
    Or is this little more than a gangland violence/police matter?
    I mean, how many people are murdered in the US each year? I think it is 30,000 or something.
    Iraq’s population is 12 times smaller than the US, so if we get Iraq down to the point where only 2500 people are murdered each year, then Iraq is actually as safe as the US (which would be much safer than any country in the region to begin with)..

  • Jamison1 says:

    Rumana doesn’t appear on your maps, Bill.

    Still no word of Iraqi troops?

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Rumana is next to Ubaydi. Can’t update the map at this time, will do so when I can. No Iraqi troops involved.

  • Jamison1 says:

    Kartik,

    Gen. Casey reported last week that, “even by our most pessimistic estimates of the insurgency we
    estimated it to be less than 1 10th of 1 percent of the overall population of Iraq. And I think
    that’s still about right.”

    In streight numbers, that is about 20,000 total insurgents of which it is estimated about 10% or
    2,000 are foreign jihadists the vast majority are Baathists. It is the foreign jihadists who use suicide bombers
    and it is thought the violence level in Iraq will dramatically decrease when then are controlled.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Kartik,
    “How many estimated insurgents”
    InMyHumbleOpinion
    No one has firm figures on the number of insurgents.
    There are three methods of attempting to determine big the opposing force is.
    1) Count them – they don’t have tanks, armor etc. Don’t travel in formations, don’t wear “unit patches”. If we could count them without any of the usual counting items, they would be dead.
    2) Their ops tempo, using some multiplier as to how many troops it would require for your side to accomplish the same thing.
    3) Psycho-metrics…it takes about 1/2 of 1% of the population to intimidate the population.(Surprisingy, this is the same method used to determine how many policeman are required, some localities use 1/3 of 1%)
    The AlQaim region is estimated,emphasis on estimated, to have roughly 100,000 residents, and reports are that the population is intimidated, hence an estimated 500 insurgents in the AlQaim region.
    It is also important to note that the insurgency is broadly made up of two branches,
    The AlQueda terrorist acts branch…which is easiet to measure, and also accounts for the majority of the fatal attacks.
    The Former Regime Elements/Organized Crime branch, which tends to focus on Military and Government targets, and as such, don’t need to intimidate the population to accomplish their task.

  • Kerry says:

    How many estimated insurgents are there in Iraq?

    Check out this estimate.

    Personally, I think the guy, who actually claims to be an terrorism and intelligence expert, is bit wacko.

    //globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/09/how_big_is_the_.html

  • Jamison1 says:

    This report has the civilians and terrorists fleeing into Syria. The borders aren’t blocked?

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Kerry,
    That “expert” is including “non-violent” resistance groups. I think in a Democracy, “non-violent resistance groups” are called “Political Parties”.

  • Mixed Humor says:

    The media also reported the “Great Escape from Tal Afar” by insurgents that never happened. I think it’s become a natural reaction for the media to write that insurgents have been able to slip out of anywhere, anytime their is a U.S. offensive. I don’t doubt that some do escape, but the extent of it is another story.
    Today the BBC reports:
    But most residents and insurgents appear to have already fled, the BBC’s Richard Galpin reports from Baghdad.
    How does this guy know who has and hasn’t fled if he’s sitting in some airconditioned room in Baghdad?

  • Cruiser says:

    In an AP article there is the following quote from Marine commander in western Anbar province, Col. Stephen W. Davis:
    “Davis said the latest offensive would at least dislodge militants enough to allow residents of the region to vote on Oct. 15 – and could strike a heavy blow to al-Qaida in Iraq.”
    This quote give the impression of a clearing operation, rather than a clear and hold operation. That would also explain the lack of significant IA troops.

  • Ike says:

    Syrian prez orders attacks on Israel?
    //www.nysun.com/article/20840
    While al Qaeda waits on Israel’s borders
    //www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3148552,00.html
    //www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=890
    //www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/front2453643.199305556.html
    Let’s not forget our Israeli friends while we continue our own war. Something tells me they are going to have their hands full very soon.

  • Ike says:

    I am so sick of this garbage from the media
    “Twelve civilians were killed in an airstrike in Sadah on Friday night, said Ali Rawi, a physician at the hospital in nearby Qaim. Among the dead were seven women and children, he added. The bombs hit four houses, witnesses said.
    “Two more families were killed Saturday at 11 a.m. when they were fleeing the town, driving on a dusty road,” Rawi said. An ambulance rushed to the area, but “the driver was shot by the U.S. forces and his assistant was wounded,” the physician said. “This is the only ambulance we have, as the others were either stolen or destroyed by the American forces.”
    Rawi’s account could not be independently verified.”
    That is from the Washington Post //www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/01/AR2005100101145.html?sub=AR
    I just want to know if this rumor cannot be confirmed why does it even get printed?

  • Ike says:

    Three new stories, mainly repeat info but feel free to check them out
    //www.csmonitor.com/2005/1003/p06s02-woiq.html
    NYTimes says Iraqi troops may be on the way, lots of other good details in this story
    //www.nytimes.com/2005/10/03/international/middleeast/03rawa.html?pagewanted=2&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1128312611-tDtcVcfw5MJhZS+ds0M/zw
    WashPost piece has some news and mentions multiple weapons caches found throughout the country.
    //www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/02/AR2005100200479.html

  • Ike says:

    //www.mnf-iraq.com/Releases/Oct/051002b.htm
    Here’s some more details on those weapons caches.

  • hamidreza says:

    There is one place that the Islamists love to take over form the very start when they invade a town or city. Islamist first take over the hospitals and clinics. All health care profesionals are warned to cooperate with the terrorists, at the risk of death.
    When a physician at the hospital receives a dozen “civilian” bodies, there is no way he can tell which ones were terrorists, and who were the non-combatants. Women especially should be suspected of being combatant terrorists as they provide vital logistical support functions to the combatants. And children are generally held by these terrorists and their women as human shields, with absolutely no regard for their safety and well being.
    For a WaPo reporter sitting in an airconditioned office in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad to call a physician of Qaim hospital overrun by Islamists, and uncritically report his lies as news, even with a disclaimer, is totally preposterous. These reporters know very well that they are talking to Islamists who can only be lying to them.

  • ike says:

    What makes some people say that terrorists will spread through out through the region? seized documents from terrorists
    “But Interior Minister Bayan Jabor told Reuters that seized militant documents indicated a plan to destabilise the entire region by spreading Islamist violence to other Arab countries. ”
    //news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051003/wl_nm/iraq_dc_31;_ylt=AgCiGoN3EF0LD.H5E1PCwoMUewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw–

  • ike says:

    Sorry for all the posts guys. But al Qaeda supposedly has a help wanted ad on their website.
    //www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2005/October/middleeast_October76.xml&section=middleeast&col=

  • leaddog2 says:

    From what I read and what I have been told, all Washington Post and NY Times reporters as well as broadcast media idiots are carefully screened before they go to Iraq.
    They are required to be either Islamofascist supporters, or Stalinist or ANSWER type leftist traitors. In the U.S. they are called DemocRats.

  • serurier says:

    Media = Idiot , they must taken money from terrorists , I call FBI and CIA attention to that .

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Keep the media bashing to yourselves.
    If you want to discuss specific instance related to the events, feel free to do so. But comments such as “they’re all _______” really adds nothing to the debate. I will begin deleting comments such as these if it does not stop.

  • mr_toad says:

    This Dr. al-Marsumi may have an axe to grind (Google cached page since the original wasn’t available) US Troops raid hospital, beat doctors, arrest guards Scroll down to al-Qa’im.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    The terrorist mouthpiece Jihad Unspun is claiming that the “Resistance Commander Abu Al-Walid Shaheed” was killed in fighting near AlQaim.
    //www.jihadunspun.com/intheatre_internal.php?article=104612&list=/home.php&

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