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 recent Multinational West press release indicates the half of the town is now under Coalition control; “Old Ubaydi has been cleared and now the Iraqi Army and Coalition forces are focusing on clearing the al Qaeda in Iraq stronghold of New Ubaydi”.

Contrary to some reports, Ubaydi lies south of the Euphrates River, not north. The New York Times describes Ubaydi as sitting ” in a heart-shaped bend in the river about 10 miles east of the Syrian border” which “is split between a new sector and an old The heaviest fighting occurred in the new sector, a planned development of well-finished houses.” The tight-packed nature of the housing complex makes for difficult urban fighting (see satellite map), however the only two Marine deaths reported so far were related to an IED attack and one Iraqi soldier has been wounded.

The town of Ubaydi is important for reasons other than being an al Qaeda redoubt. There are two bridges over the Euphrates River are located in or near the town. These bridges were destroyed during Operation River Gate with concrete bombs, which denied al Qaeda their use but allowed for relatively easy repair by U.S. forces. Once repaired, the Coalition will control the western most crossing points on the river, reestablish the crossing points for local use, and be able to conduct military operations north or south with greater ease. Coalition forces will establish basing in the town, and which will provide another outpost with easy access to the north of the Euphrates River, the other being further east in Rawah (which is actually located north of the river).

Reference Map:

Security Watchtower has a map of the Western Euphrates River Valley, which should help locate the towns mentioned. Ubaydi and the surrounding towns require some adjustment but this map gives a great view of the towns and cities discussed in the Qaim region.

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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  • Matthew says:

    Sounds like the Marines are on track with their operations planning. I suspect that they are trying to pacify the area in time for the December 15th elections (which is just four weeks away!). Are there other towns that could be potential trouble spots that need counterinsugency work – Ramadi and the Syrian border does come to mind. I guess what I am asking is, what needs to be done in the next month – I look forward to your answers during your time embedded in Iraq with the 2-2.
    And Bill, I just realized it, but you ARE going to be there in Iraq for the December 15th elections – that’s pretty special.

  • Dave From Chicago says:

    Guys, the big question is this: Will congress ruin the Iraq mission before it’s complete? I saw Lieberman on CSPAN yesterday and he gave a nice speech on completing the mission and not setting timetables so maybe it’s just media spin. I hope they don’t try to speed this up in the final stages. After all the lives, time, and money why would they try to rush it now? hmmmmm

  • cjr says:

    This is an interesting development. My bet is that it doesnt go anywhwere, however it is another sign of insurgent weakness.
    Iraq: Resistance Ready To Talk — But Only With The U.S.

  • Dave From Chicago says:

    Bush rarely speaks to father, ‘family is split’
    Tue Nov 15 2005 11:23:51 ET

  • Dave From Chicago says:

    Republicans reject timetable
    Thank you! The day the Republicans stoop to the DEMS level I will puke!

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    #3 CJR,
    “The Senate voted 79-19 for a resolution saying the next calendar year “should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty”
    The resistance got their answer.

  • GJ says:

    They may have regected the timetable but still allowed Terrorists to have a federal court hearing. You can imagine when a Liberal judge gets a hold of that. With this vote and the last one on so called ‘torture’ I, for one, am fed up with the Republicans.

  • GJ says:

    Soldier’s Dad: It was my understanding we already handed over soverignty to the Iraqi’s, which we actually did ahead of time. I’d say this is indicative of how ‘Stuck on Stupid’ the press are and the Senators are in lock step with them. Bunch of cowardly spineless idiots. My tone probably indicates what my real opinion is of late.

  • Matthew says:

    ABC Newsradio in Australia ran a story saying that if the Democrats got control of Congress in 2006, they would block funds needed for Iraq.
    Sorry, I couldn’t find a link for it, but it seems to me that if you supported the troops, you wouldn’t block money needed to equip and protect them.

  • US Soldier in Iraq says:

    The Iraqi Army is no where ready to assume control of this counrty. But I say, let’em have it. I’m sick of having my fellow Soldiers die for people who don’t even want us here. We give them food in the morning and that night they are emplacing IEDs along our routes. Pave the whole country, make it a gas station, and call it a day. Problem solved, we got oil and Soldiers return home.

  • President Bush says:

    Don’t worry, I have the DEMS by their groins!

  • GJ says:

    US Soldier:
    Rest assured, they may not appreciate what you’re doing over there but we Certainly Do. Many of us realize this is bigger than any one of us. We are faced with a Global threat, a Caliphate. As I’ve noted before, we now have many in Jordan that are against these people. Apparently even the Palestinians are taking notice. Our men who have given the ultimate sacrifice are accomplishing great things. Who knows how this democracy attempt will work out. But if it does work, there could very well be a huge change in the middle east, for the better. In order for that change to happen there has to be a change in attitudes of glorifying death. There appears to be a little spark of that. And whatever good becomes of it will be because of the US Soldiers in Iraq.


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