Iron Fist / River Gate Updates

Iron Fist:

Operation Iron Fist is in its sixth day, and Marines continue to engage the enemy in the region between Sada and Karabilah. Twenty nine terrorists are confirmed killed in three separate engagements. Two were killed by M1A1 Abrams tanks supporting infantry and seven were killed by “aviation assets” – likely F/A-18 fighter bombers armed with 500 pound GPS or laser guided bombs – when they buildings they were firing from were destroyed.

To the west, in Husaybah, twenty terrorists were confirmed killed when four bombs were dropped on an abandoned hotel being used as a weapons depot and base of operations. Seventy-five terrorists are reported to have been killed during six days of fighting.

The Belmont Club has posted photographs from Iron Fist.

River Gate:

Operation River Gate is in its third day. Iraqi Army and U.S. Marines continue to work to clear the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana. The region is littered with weapons dumps and improvised explosive devices. Ten IEDs hav ebeen discovered so far.

In Haqlaniyah and Haditha, Coalition troops uncovered two caches “consisting of more than 40 mortar and artillery rounds, two complete mortar systems, small-arms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.” The terrorists continue to violate the laws of war, and use places of worship to store weapons and conduct attacks.

Iraqi Security Forces and Marines were attacked with a roadside bomb in Haditha late this afternoon. Examination of the blast site revealed electrical wiring leading to Qaryat Al Khadfah mosque. Iraqi Soldiers and Marines discovered the initiating device for the explosive inside the mosque. In addition, numerous artillery rounds, pre-wired and ready to use as roadside bombs, were hidden on the mosque grounds. No Iraqi Soldiers or Marines were injured by the bomb’s blast.

Seven terrorists have been reported killed and over 170 captured as of yesterday. Five Marines and soldiers have been reported killed in the three days of operations.

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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  • GJ says:

    That’s always sad to hear, marines and soldiers killed. It brings to mind the gaul of the Senate voting by wide margins to limit interrogations of terrorists. When I get home I’m going to check in further. Granted, I don’t like to see ‘Abuse’ but then when I consider who we are up against my sense is do whatever it takes to get information. It reminded me today during the President’s speech of Beslan where they shot in the back young children trying to run out of a building. I have no sympathy for these bastards. If they’ll shoot a little kid in the back, just let me interrogate them. One who is not subject to any “Convention”. But then, our Marines and such are “Professionals”, not just some Irate citizen who wouldn’t mind revenge. For the Marines and All keep doing the great job you are. We Are Proud of you and realize We couldn’t do it.

  • Sgt. York says:

    Re: “my sense is do whatever it takes to get information”
    Torture is evil. Those who advocate, condone, or engage in torture are demonic.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    Sgt York,
    Let’s say that your child/grandchild was kidnapped, and needed to have medication within a few hours, or he/she would die. The police found the suspected kidnapper, sans victim, but they weren’t talking. Would you advocate torture to find out where your child/grandchild was?
    How about if you thought that torturing someone would yield information that would save the lives of your ten best friends?

  • Jamison1 says:

    Iraqis Will Have Safe Environment for Referendum, General Says
    U.S. Marines and soldiers uncover roadside bombs hidden underneath a pile of boulders in the courtyard of a large Sunni mosque in Haditha, Iraq

  • hamidreza says:

    Sgt. York: “Torture is evil and must not ever be engaged.”
    Nice idyllic and idealistic precept. Can I ask a question?
    If there are people (Islamists for example) who certifiably wish to institute torture and who do not subscribe to this lofty precept, and who are on the verge of destroying the society that is upholding this precept – then what do you do?
    Do you let these people take over, institute torture, and forever terminate this precept?
    What if you need information to prevent this take over?

  • Matthew says:

    Yes, torture is evil and morally repugnant. The only thing more evil and morally repugnant than torture is to disregard how lives are affected in setting a standard in the conduct of any fight against evil.
    By all means let’s have a debate on this topic, but I worry that the blanket declaration that Congress is adding to the Defense Bill will have a greater cost to the fight against terrorism than what has been considered.

  • GJ says:

    I listened to a rerun of the C-Span morning show and David Rivkin was talking about this issue. As he said, by legislating this would leave those in the field to not take ANY chances in interrogation and possibly do nothing in fear of resprisals. I think C-Span has these shows that can be viewed at any time. It would be beneficial for those interested to check it out. I only saw the last part. But Rivkin makes a lot of sense. He doesn’t condone ‘Torture’ and neither do I but there are certainly means better than what we’re left with. The many complaints of Gitmo are the same as soldier’s are trained in. So how can that be bad. Rivkin brought that up, should we quit training our troops in this way.

  • Killshot says:

    Army Splc Jake Van Der Bosch was killed in the roadside event that you stated produced no casulaties. 2 other soldiers were killed with them yesterday. For the record.

  • Update on western Iraq

    Bill Roggio has a brilliant post up, summarizing the goals of the various operations in western Iraq. One thing I’ll add, you’ll see from the map that the eastern anchor of this line of operations is Fallujah.

  • Don Cox says:

    The biggest risk when you are fighting an unprincipled enemy is of descending to their level. Consider how often the forces of law and order in various countries suffering from terrorism (or freedom fighters) have ended up “disappearing” people.
    The cure can become as bad as the disease. This is particularly a danger for the Iraqi security forces.
    If we have any reason at all to be in Iraq it is to fight for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. That completely excludes torture, and the US and British forces need to set a good example at all times.
    Already the disgusting incidents at Abu Ghraib did more damage than any of the car bomb campaigns.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Don Cox,
    Actually, no poll wise (and I keep track closely) Zarqawi’s April thru June mass car bombing campaign did more to damage support for the war. Support for the war bounced back a few months after Abu Grieb (by late August). Support never bounced back after that Zarqawi mass car bombing offensive.

  • Sgt. Bork says:

    The roadside bomb described involved marines and Iraqi troops, not army soldiers, killpot. Try to shoot straight for a change.

  • anymouse says:

    Don Cox,
    If you are so concerned about “rule of law”, and the horror of Abu Grieb…I would suggest you avoid reading details of WWII (specifically the Pacific Theatre), and the Korean Police Action. Using your worldview, we (the US) should be making reparations to Japan, the NK’s and the Chinese for innumerable war crimes.
    As a member of the military I well aware of the UCMJ and the Code of Conduct, Geneva Convention, etc.. However, only the naive who have never been “in harm’s way” with an enemy who has no respect for human life would make such a statement. Not even the most strident voices I am aware of are suggesting wholesale disregard for “rule of law”.

  • goesh says:

    The average grunt on either side has little valuable intelligence. Put hot irons to his feet and you will learn all about his personal life and where his outfit is at and about how many men and weapons are there. He couldn’t tell you anything about his CO’s movements or aspects of his personality or any pending operations. I suspect that most ‘big fish’ readily talk and those that don’t most likely have warrants or writs for interrogation from other countries where they have no qualms about doing whatever is necessary to extract information, which of course is shared with us.

  • As a former interrogator (who has never used torture), our methods of human intelligence are laughable. These jihadis know that we can’t hurt them and will laugh in your face.
    If there was a punishment for being a jihadi/terrorist such as the death penalty, or hard time/labor, then I would say we could do without the torture. But if there is a revolving door on the jailhouse and the jihadist isn’t afraid, its time to make them afraid. I may be the only one with this opinion, but I’ve sat in the interrogators chair.

  • EddieP says:

    There are altruistic arguments against torture, and there is no reason to use it as a first resort. But I want those SOB’s to wonder whether I’ll do it or not. I don’t want them to know I won’t. So if I arrest someone who has just shot a bunch of school kids in the back, I don’t care if he’s tortured to get information, as long as the word gets out that killing kids can get you mutilated. I want them to fear me, then torture won’t be necessary.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    BTW, what happened at Abu GHraib was not torture. That was degradation, to no purpose. There is a signigicant difference.

  • GJ says:

    Let’s not forget, all this talk of the Geneva convention Only applies to signatories. These terrorists are certainly not signatories, by any means. That gives us, legally, more options than if it were a country we were up against. As Rivkin stated POW’s deserve respect because they fight in honor and when surrendering, we, as honorable people do not shoot those. Terrorists have no honor and will not surrender. As BinLaden has said, we Americans and the West love life and he and those of jihad love death. When fighting those who Love Death it Will take extraordinary means to put an end to it. When fighting a conventional war your means are to get the enemy to Quit fighting, becoming POW’s etc. For that reason we treat POW’s with respect. That’s why it’s lawful for POW’s to withold information. This is not the case for terrorists. In any event the only way to this Jihad to end is for Muslims everywhere to seriously condemn and consistently speak out against it. We haven’t got there yet. But with the Iraq operation and jihadists killing other Muslims in Mosques etc, the tide will turn. Eventually this will be so revolting to the general Muslim community they Will start speaking. For this reason our entry into Iraq Was and Is a prudent move. This may be difficult but could very well cause an end to it sooner. As the President said, we will fight them at Our Choosing, not theirs.

  • liberalhawk says:

    Thanks for the info on operations, Bill.
    Id like to note some facts from the Brookings Iraq Index. US military deaths and injured were lower in Sept than in August – for deaths, much lower. Iraqi civilian deaths were also lower in Sept than in August (though August was particularly high, and they have a long way to go) Iraqi police and military deaths were lower in Sept, and have been trending downward since July. Electricity production has finally begun to rebound. Oil export has not, though.
    Its STARTING to look like we are seeing SOME improvement in the OUTPUT metrics, as well as the input metrics. Lets hope this keeps up.

  • GJ says:

    These are the votes on the ammendment to restrict our military interrogations. I have one vote Yes and one vote No on the amendment. I wrote both Senators to express my dissatisfaction and satisfaction.
    Current Legislation•Key Votes•Capitol Hill Basics
    Roll Call Vote No. 249 Tally
    (For more information about a Member, highlight the name and
    click “Go”)
    Yea : 90 Members
    Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
    Richard Shelby (R-AL)
    Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
    Mark Pryor (D-AR)
    Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
    John McCain (R-AZ)
    Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
    Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
    Ken Salazar (D-CO)
    Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
    Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
    Joseph Biden (D-DE)
    Thomas Carper (D-DE)
    Mel Martinez (R-FL)
    Bill Nelson (D-FL)
    Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
    Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
    Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
    Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
    Charles Grassley (R-IA)
    Tom Harkin (D-IA)
    Larry Craig (R-ID)
    Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    Richard Durbin (D-IL)
    Barack Obama (D-IL)
    Evan Bayh (D-IN)
    Richard Lugar (R-IN)
    Sam Brownback (R-KS)
    Jim Bunning (R-KY)
    Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
    David Vitter (R-LA)
    Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
    John Kerry (D-MA)
    Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
    Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
    Susan Collins (R-ME)
    Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
    Carl Levin (D-MI)
    Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
    Norm Coleman (R-MN)
    Mark Dayton (D-MN)
    Jim Talent (R-MO)
    Trent Lott (R-MS)
    Max Baucus (D-MT)
    Conrad Burns (R-MT)
    Richard Burr (R-NC)
    Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
    Kent Conrad (D-ND)
    Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
    Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
    Ben Nelson (D-NE)
    Judd Gregg (R-NH)
    John Sununu (R-NH)
    Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
    Pete Domenici (R-NM)
    John Ensign (R-NV)
    Harry Reid (D-NV)
    Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
    Charles Schumer (D-NY)
    Mike DeWine (R-OH)
    George Voinovich (R-OH)
    Gordon Smith (R-OR)
    Ron Wyden (D-OR)
    Rick Santorum (R-PA)
    Arlen Specter (R-PA)
    Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
    Jack Reed (D-RI)
    Jim DeMint (R-SC)
    Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
    Tim Johnson (D-SD)
    John Thune (R-SD)
    Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    Bill Frist (R-TN)
    Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
    Robert Bennett (R-UT)
    Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
    George Allen (R-VA)
    John Warner (R-VA)
    James Jeffords (I-VT)
    Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
    Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
    Patty Murray (D-WA)
    Russ Feingold (D-WI)
    Herbert Kohl (D-WI)
    Robert Byrd (D-WV)
    John Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Michael Enzi (R-WY)
    Craig Thomas (R-WY)
    Nay : 9 Members
    Ted Stevens (R-AK)
    Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
    Wayne Allard (R-CO)
    Pat Roberts (R-KS)
    Christopher Bond (R-MO)
    Thad Cochran (R-MS)
    Tom Coburn (R-OK)
    James Inhofe (R-OK)
    John Cornyn (R-TX)
    Not Voting : 1 Member
    Jon Corzine (D-NJ)


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