Operations in Jazerra Region

Coalition forces take down al Qaeda camps in the rural areas of Anbar

As the Iraqi government rebounds from the rise in sectarian violence in the wake of the bombing of the Alaskari Mosque, Iraqi and Coalition forces continue the hunt for al Qaeda. A series of raids in Anbar province has put a bomb making facility, ammunition caches and over sixty al Qaeda operatives out of business. The Multinational Forces Iraq press release provides the details:

CF [Coalition Forces] captured 61 suspected AQIZ facilitators in multiple raids 30 miles northeast of Fallujah[note, I suspect he meant northwest, as 30 miles northeast of Fallujah is the Baghdad suburbs]. The suspects are believed to be members of the Zarqawi network, and to have personally facilitated suicide bombers, foreign fighters and the funding of terrorist activities. Five AQIZ safe houses were destroyed during the operation. Coalition Forces also uncovered a large number of weapons and ammunition caches which they destroyed in place. Of the 61 suspects, four are considered key AQIZ facilitators.

The location of this operation is the Jazerra region which lies directly north of Ramadi and Habbaniyah (or about 30 miles northwest of Fallujah), and has been the subject of Iraqi Army operations in the recent past. The Iraqi Army and Coalition forces launched Spider Web on January 4, 2006, and the Iraqi Army independently conducted Final Strike on January 30, 2006.

The region is a “known insurgent staging area for attacks against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces.” Captain Jeffrey Pool informed me during Final Strike that “this area is where a lot of ex Baathists and military retired,” and that the Iraqi Army was just beginning to make inroads into the area after a year of neglect.

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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3 Comments

  • tblubrd says:

    This is good to see, especially with the CBS “exclusive” prediction that AQ will make a “Big Bang” operation. Perhaps it won’t be as big now. Interestingly, none of the antique media captured this report. Must have looked too much like progress to have a look for them.

  • Mike says:

    You mean 30 miles northwest of Fallujah, instead of northeast.

  • Yeshooroon says:

    More good news from the MNF-Iraq.com that Bill sourced.
    “Iraqi Police captured seven insurgents involved in placing a roadside bomb discovered by the Iraqi
    Highway Patrol in Kirkuk on Thursday.”
    This is reallly significant that Iraqi Police are getting in on the action and not just the army. This is definite signs of improvement in capability and reliability.
    “Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division helped secure the area
    around the bomb in the eastern part of the city.”
    Coordination and support, no longer are our troops always on the front, but able to work hand in hand. This is good news.
    “This is one of many recent successes that Iraqi police have had in the past few weeks. They continue to get better every day in their
    policing skills and in combating terrorists, said Maj. Greg Bishop, 1st BCT.”
    That wraps it up, ‘one of many recent successes’.
    While terrorist try their best to rock Iraq, the truth is Iraqi’s themselves are getting stronger each week and more proficient at capturing insurgents. This trend will get even better as more Sunni get involved in the hunt.
    Our leaders need to stand behind our troops fully and stick this out. They’re doing a great job. It appears the government and military reacted quite well considering with a few problems of militia involvement.
    I was glad to hear some rather tough statements about religious leaders this morning. The Iraqi government made a statement that any religious leaders inciting violence will be strongly dealt with.
    One can only hope they put away Sadr. He’s a puppet-turned-rather-large player for both Iran and Syria. I hope he makes key mistakes or Iraqi political leaders determine he’s part of the problem and take him down.

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