Operations in Kirkuk, Diyala and Diwaniyah

Three large counterinsurgency operations are occurring across Iraq

Iraq. Click map to view.

Iraqi and U.S. forces are on the offensive against the insurgency and al Qaeda outside of Operation Together Forward in Baghdad. Three large scale counterinsurgency operations are under way in Diwaniyah, Diyala and Kirkuk. In Diwaniyah, the target continues to be Sadr’s Madhi Army. In Kirkuk and Diyala, al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgency are the focus of operations.

Diwaniyah

Over thirty “terrorists” were killed after a joint Iraqi and U.S. team raided the home of Kifah al-Greiti, “a Mahdi Army commander in the city”, according to Iraqi Army Capt. Fatiq Ayed. Multinational Forces Iraq states the forces “detained a high-value target” (likely al-Greiti) after a major clash with the Madhi Army. “An M1A2 Abrams Tank was struck by multiple RPG rounds and was severely damaged,” reports MNF-Iraq, indicating the seriousness of the fighting. No Iraqi or Coalition forces casualties were reported. This was another one-sided battle that will give Sadr’s Madhi Army a black eye in the region.

The clash in Diwaniyah is the latest in a series of operations designed to undercut Sadr’s support base outside of Baghdad. Sadr’s lieutenants are being intentionally targeted to force Sadr to a decision point – either abandon the militias or confront the government.

Diyala

Last week Iraqi Army units and Coalition forces conducted a major sweep of Diyala province, which is a strong hold of Baathist insurgent groups and Ansar al-Sunnah. Over 250 insurgents and al Qaeda were detained in last week’s sweeps. The operations are still ongoing. Two al Qaeda were killed and 16 arrested in the latest round of sweeps. Fourty suspected insurgents were also detained. Three more insurgents were detained in Baqubah /a> and a large weapons cache was discovered. The Iraqi Army has recently took control over northern Diyala.

Kirkuk

A major operation is being conducted by Iraqi and U.S. troops in the flashpoint city of Kirkuk. An open ended curfew has been instituted. “These operations are the first of their kind in Kirkuk, with more than 14,000 police and soldiers supported by US helicopters,” said Captain Emad Jassim Khidr of the Kirkuk police. This is a major commitment of resources, given that Coalition commanders have called for over 3,000 additional Iraqi troops in Baghdad, and an Iraqi National Police brigade was pulled off the line in the city. Sadr has sent two companies of the Madhi Army in Kirkuk over the spring.

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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9 Comments

  • Operations in Kirkuk, Diyala and Diwaniyah

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Three large counterinsurgency operations are occurring across Iraq
    Iraqi and U.S. forces are on the offensive against the insurgency and al-Qaeda outside of Operation Together Forward in Baghdad. Three large scale counte…

  • Wally Lind says:

    Keep going boys and girls, keep them running! Nice Work.

  • JC says:

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”
    –Albert Einstein

  • Mirco says:

    “The clash in Diwaniyah is the latest in a series of operations designed to undercut Sadr’s support base outside of Baghdad. Sadr’s lieutenants are being intentionally targeted to force Sadr to a decision point – either abandon the militias or confront the government.”
    Or someone of his Mahdi’s Army will decide he is too tepid and will “remove” him from the command.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    JC,
    You clearly know very little about counterinsurgency. COIN requires conducting contant patrols and sweeps. It’s not a one-and-done operation. The key here is the iraqi Army is doing this largely on their own, with us acting in a suporting role. A year ago these ops were done exclusively by us.

  • Andrew R. says:

    Are the Diwaniyah operations being orchestrated by the U.S. or IG? Because if it’s the IG I’d guess that there’s some serious and ongoing movement going on by the SCIRI/Badr folks to undermine Sadr as a Shi’ite spokesman. The optimist in me would like to say that it’s the Maliki government trying to undermine the death squad folks, but I’m leery of such an explanation.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    I would note that the MNF-I press release related to the Diwaniyah operation listed a company sized US supporting element.

  • Michael says:

    “This is a major commitment of resources, given that Coalition commanders have called for over 3,000 additional Iraqi troops in Baghdad, and an Iraqi National Police brigade was pulled off the line in the city.”
    Does this imply Coalition forces now have more latitude in resource assignments due to the Iraqi Forces buildup? I would expect as we see more IA resources come online fully functional and reliable in providing offensive maneuvers and protection, it would free up other forces to project themselves quickly into hotspots.
    “Sadr has sent two companies of the Madhi Army in Kirkuk over the spring.”
    This seems like a bad calculation on his part. This allows the Malaki government to route his forces outside his base camps. He does not have the resources, whereas the IA and Coalition forces have grown in power, intelligence and logistical support.
    I have no military experience, but part of me would hope Sadr keeps sending his Madhi Army out and about to remote areas away from his base camp.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Our boys have killed or arrested hundreds of Mahdi Miliamen in the past few months. The Iranain backed, Hezbollah trained Mahdi Army is getting outfought and outkilled at every turn by the vastly superior US Fighting forces and even by the Iraqi Army.
    Of course the maistream media never talks about this, they only talk about the 2,700 US deaths, not the 60,000 Insurgent/Al Qaeda/Militia killed or captured by the US Military. I guess that is because that last figure doesen’r support their biased political agendas.

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