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 tribe and the pro-al Qaeda Karabilah tribe over the summer.

The street fighting has been reported to have been intense in the center and southwest corner of the city. Over thirty roadside bombs and booby trapped homes have been uncovered, along with two car bombs. “Dozens” of insurgent have been reported to have been killed. No Coalition deaths have been reported.

Iraqi Defense Minister Dulaimi stated “up to 180 terrorists escaped from Husaybah” and fled to Syria as Steel Curtain commenced. According to the Kuwait News Agency; “He added that Syria should stop the infiltration of foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq, noting that the Iraqi authorities have 400 detainees who said that they were trained in Syria before entering Iraq.” While this will be offered up as proof the insurgents are slipping the net, the real story is that the insurgents didn’t move to locations along the Euphrates River inside Iraq, and eyes are now seriously beginning to turn towards Syria.

The avenues to the cities along the Euphrates have been closed, or made vastly more difficult and dangerous to travel with Coalition troops now permanently stationed in Husaybah, Sadah, Qaim, Rawah, Haditha, Haqlaniyah, Barwana, Khan Al Baghdadi, Hit, Ramadi, Habbaniyah, and Fallujah. This is the Anbar Campaign.

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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12 Comments

  • Lorenzo says:

    Steel Gate needs to be stretched now along the Iranian border as well. Are there any reports of action on the Eastern border to eliminate that feed?

  • Jimbo says:

    Bill

    On the 180 terrorists escaping back into Syria…would it be safe to speculate US forces have a video of the scum running for the border?

  • Operation Steel Curtain

    Disputing a claim by U-S commanders, there is now a report of heavier-than-expected enemy resistance in the latest U-S-led offensive in Iraq.

  • desert rat says:

    As the Insurgents/ Terrorists move out of Iraq, due to a lack of facilities available to them in Iraq, does that not indicate Iraq is ever more secure? It would seem that wa to me.
    How many more locales do the Insurgents control,in Iraq? That number decreases, daily. The Iraqi National Government is extending it’s control over all of it’s lands, even more so than Saddam controlled by terror.
    Victory, as defined by the AUFI, is at hand.

  • ikez78 says:

    That KUNA article also mentions that there will be a death penalty and loss of your house for anyone who aids or harbors terrorists AKA anyone destabilizing the country. This sounds like no tolerance to me.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Trust me when it comes to clamping down on foreigners Iraqis are more then on board… well.. maybe a bit overboard.
    //news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051106/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_unwelcome_arabs_1

  • C-Low says:

    I think we have made more progress in the last couple of months than in the last 3yrs. Not that the last 3yrs were a failure just that after 3yrs of setting the stage, training, intel, and such all the while basicly fightin a defensive holding on stance this campain has now shifted and we have gone offensive using the foundation we built over the last 3yrs. It tooks years to prepare for the one year campain in WW2 that actually saw the phyisical liberation of EU starting with Normandy ending with Berlin. Today I think we are seeing the end game campain and the Rhine has been breached.
    Of course thier will still be a bomb here and thier in this market or that with civilian losses but these terrorist bombs are not military they are cirminal moves by our enemy and will take generations of education and literally changing the mind set of the population to stop. The point is police stations are not being overran patrols are getting more and more common by Iraqi forces and police not just US, the gov is working together and making the Iraq gov thier own. The bombs will continue and innocents will die and The Press will continue to Report Failure and Deafeat No Security the attacks continue with no context of the real situation. After all weekly if not daily thier are drive byes in LA does that mean Califonia is not stable or secure???? Can the Califonia gov really stop absolutley the drive bys??

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Lorenzo,
    The Iranian border is reasonably well controlled(not perfect). MNF-South would like to add a “legal” border crossing to cut down on illegal crossings for legal purposes. There isn’t a battle to be had “Securing” the border with Iran.
    //www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=37441&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs

  • Justin Capone says:

    Force protection tops to-do list for soldiers in Iraq
    //www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=32836

  • Evil I says:

    I have recently returned from Husaybah, I am a Marine and have been stationed there for the past 7 months, that place is hell, and you have no idea what we went through up there and what those Marines are facing now, the insurgents there are hard to find, the blend in with the public and come to talk to you jsut as the locals would…if anyone has any questions fell free to drop an email [email protected]
    Semper Fi

  • Evil I says:

    I have recently returned from Husaybah, I am a Marine and have been stationed there for the past 7 months, that place is hell, and you have no idea what we went through up there and what those Marines are facing now, the insurgents there are hard to find, the blend in with the public and come to talk to you jsut as the locals would…if anyone has any questions fell free to drop an email [email protected]
    Semper Fi

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