Monthly Archives: November 2005

Transferring Control

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: The morning began with a patrol in the darkness to a home on the far side of Husaybah. 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, received a tip that am Improvised Explosive Device was located outside the home. After a scan of the property, the joint Marine & Iraqi Army squad […]

Operation Iron Hammer in Hit

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: Coalition forces have launched Operation Iron Hammer in the city of Hit. This is a multi-battalion operation consisting of one Iraqi and two to three U.S. battalions; approximately 500 Iraqi Army soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division and 1,500 Marines and Sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit along with 500 […]

Combined Forces

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: A new batch of Iraqi troops rotated into service at Battle Position Beirut as the last group was heading out on leave. The Iraqi soldiers are an extremely friendly bunch and very interested in getting to know you. Several of the soldiers spoke English, and served as translators for the groups who came […]

Walking Husaybah

The nighttime mounted patrol in Husaybah was followed by a pair of foot patrols. I linked up with the 1st Platoon of Lima Company of the 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, call sign Jackal 1. 1st Lieutenant William Oren took me on a patrol through the southern neighborhoods outside of Battle Position Beirut. We snaked through […]

The Hounds of Husaybah

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: The evening kicked off with a ride in the darkness from Camp Qaim, which is situated at the railroad station South of Al Qaim, to Camp Gannon, the outpost that sits directly between the city of Husaybah and the Syrian border. The ride was uneventful, and the convoy of up-armored Hummers passed through […]

Steel Curtain Unmasked

AL QAIM: The western branch of the Euphrates River, what is know as the Al Qa’im region, which spans from Husaybah on the Syrian border to the town of Ubaydi, at a heart-shaped bend in the river, has long been a haven for al Qaeda and the insurgency. While the problem was well known, for […]

Terrorists’ Toys For Tots

AL ASAD AIR BASE, IRAQ: The Thanksgiving Day car bombing in the town of Mahmudiyah encapsulates the nature of terror attacks directed at the Iraq people. Thursday’s attack killed thirty and wounded forty. The location was a hospital, and the target was American troops handing out toys and food to children. ABC News voices the […]

Operational Issues

BAGHDAD, IRAQ: As Operation Steel Curtain on the Syrian border comes to a close, the Coalition continues to press operations in hot areas. Ramadi, which has been the focus of numerous small scale operations over the past months, most recently Panthers and Bruins, is the focus of Operation Lions. The operation is aimed at southern […]

Missing Zarqawi

KUWAIT CITY: The rumors of the demise of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, appear to be untrue. Zelmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, squelches the early reports of his death; “I do not believe that we got him. But his days are numbered. We’re closer to that goal but unfortunately we […]

Rumor and Combat

KUWAIT CITY: While Coalition forces press operations along the Euphrates River Valley, an interesting report emerges from the city of Mosul. During a shootout at a suspected al Qaeda safe house, eight terrorists either shot each other or blew themselves up to avoid capture. Unconfirmed reports indicate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, […]

“Operation Steel Curtain Continues” in Rammanah

The Coalition task force assigned to clear and hold the western most run of the Euphrates River has had little rest since Operation Steel Curtain began at the beginning of November. The towns of Husaybah, Karabilah, and Ubaydi have been cleared and a permanent Iraqi and U.S. presence has left behind to prevent the return […]

A Journey to Iraq, One Week and Counting

(This post will remain at the top of the page for several days. Scroll down for updates.) I will be leaving for Iraq one week from today. I am grateful for kind words and the assistance I have received from all of you, so much so that words cannot communicate my gratitude. I’m still $3,500 […]

Ramadi: North, South, East and West, and Operation Panther

Ramadi, the capitol of Anbar province, has long been the focus of a struggle between Coalition forces and the insurgency. Recently, we discussed how the Coalition is attempting to address the Ramadi problem by slowing bringing in Iraqi troops and pairing them off with U.S. units, and trying to avert a full scale operation like […]

Fighting in Ubaydi and Reconstruction in Western Iraq

The fighting in Ubaydi continues as Operation Steel Curtain completes its eleventh day. Sixteen terrorists and five Marines are killed during a heavy firefight in the town. Members of the locally recruited Desert Protection Force arrested an al Qaeda terrorist at the New Ubaydi Hospital, while twenty-one insurgents are detained inside a civilian camp established […]

Steel Curtain Update: Slugging it out in Ubaydi, Running with the Sheep

al Qaeda has taken heavy casualties in the western town of Ubaydi. Since the assault force of Operation Steel Curtain moved from Husaybah and Karabilah to Ubaydi early Monday, eighty insurgents and terrorists have been killed in the town, with thirty killed since just last evening. Over 150 insurgents are believed to have been captured […]

The Battle in Ubaydi

The insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq appears to have made a stand in Ubaydi as Coalition forces press the fight in Operation Steel Curtain. Coalition forces have engaged bands of terrorists while entering the city in what is described as “sporadic but heavy fighting.” Over fifty of the enemy has been killed. The most […]

“Operation Steel Curtain Continues” In Ubaydi

As we mentioned yesterday, Operation Steel Curtain was not stopping at Husaybah or Karabilah, but would likely push further eastward and address insurgent activity in the towns of Ushsh and Ubaydi. The troops of Steel Curtain are maintaining the pressure and have now shifted the focus of combat operations to Ubaydi. This town was the […]

“Operation Steel Curtain Continues”

In early August, Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun Dulaimi laid out the Coalition’s plan to wrest control of the Euphrates River Valley from the grip of the insurgency, and indicated the operation had the political backing to proceed; “Our forces will start from the Syrian border   till we reach Ramadi, then to Fallouja We have taken […]

Ramadi Revisited; Cracks in Jihad

The city of Ramadi begins to take center stage as one of the last refuges of the insurgency along the Euphrates River Valley as Coalition forces press operations to clear and bold the border towns in western Iraq. Coalition forces continue to strike at al Qaeda and insurgent cells, weapons caches and safe houses in […]

The Wrath of Zarqawi, The Ruin of Zarqawi

al Qaeda’s recent attack in Amman, Jordan has sparked a curious response from the Arab Street The Wrath During the first phase of Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi threatened to “make the earth shake” unless Coalition forces halted combat operations at the strategic border crossing. True to […]

Steel Curtain Moves to Karabilah

The town of Karabilah, home to the tribe supportive al Qaeda in Iraq, is now the focus of Operation Steel Curtain. Coalition forces moved in Karabilah yesterday afternoon, and the enemy’s response is described as “limited resistance in the form of sporadic small arms fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).” Steel Curtain began over the […]

“Husaybah has been cleared and secured” – An Interview with Col Davis

This afternoon I conducted an interview with Colonel Stephen W. Davis, the Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team – 2 currently operating in western Iraq and engaged in Operation Steel Curtain in the border town of Husaybah. Bill: What is the current status of Operation Steel Curtain? Col Davis: Husaybah has been cleared and secured. […]

Co-opting the Sunni Insurgency’s Leadership

The political war against the Sunni-led insurgency proceeds in conjunction with military operations. Strategy Page details how successful military operations help feed the success on the political front. Intelligence on the Sunni leadership is gained via the death or capture of terrorists and insurgents, or suspected insurgents, which in turn is used to identify the […]

Day Three of Steel Curtain

Operation Steel Curtain , which is aimed at closing down the border crossing to Syria and destroying al Qaeda in the town of Husaybah, is currently in day three. Multinational Forces West confirms thirty six insurgents have been killed over the course of the operation. Capt. Conlin Carabine, a Marine company commander fighting in Husaybah, […]

In Context: Day Two of Steel Curtain in Husaybah and the Anbar Campaign

Cpmbat operation continue in and around Husaybah as day two of Operation Steel Curtain completes. Fighting has been reported as both sporadic and alternatively intense. Marine Lt.Col. Dale Alford, commander of the 3rd, Battalion, 6th Regiment reported Coalition forces encountered “pockets of resistance throughout the day.” Insurgents attempted to attack a Marine company providing security […]

IEDs and Snipers in Ramadi

The city of Ramadi remains one of the most dangerous locales in Iraq. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs or roadside bombs) is the weapon of choice for insurgents, and dozens of Marines, Soldiers and Sailors have been killed in Ramadi this year by IED attacks. These devices are relatively easy to build, as all is needed […]

Steel Curtain and the Anbar Campaign

Day one of Operation Steel Curtain, which is aimed at dislodging al Qaeda from the border town of Husaybah and estabishing a permanent presence of Iraqi troops, has ended. CNN’s Arwa Damon is embedded with the Marines fighting in Husaybah., and reports the town was largely abandoned due to fighting between the pro-government Albu Mahla […]

Steel Curtain Update

The 3,500 strong combined strike force of Operation Steel Curtain, comprised of 1,000 Iraqi Army, the local Desert Protection Force, and 2,500 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers of Regimental Combat Teem press the assault on the border city of Husaybah. Reports indicate the strike team is moving through the city and has encountered light resistance, “mostly […]

Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah

The battle on the Syrian Border has a new twist. While prior operations in Qaim, Husaybah, Sadah and other towns on the western run of the Euphrates River have been comprised of U.S. Marines, the latest operation, Steel Curtain, is made up of a joint force of 2,500 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers with Regimental Combat […]

An Iraq Roundup

The assault on al Qaeda’s network and leaders along the western Euphrates River Valley proceeds apace. Five regional leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq have been confirmed killed in an airstrike in Husaybah. Multinational Forces – West gives a breakdown on the leaders killed in the October 29th raids. Among those killed are: • Abu […]