Al Qaeda in Iraq under pressure in Balad, Anbar


Al Qaeda in Iraq’s area of operations as of December 2007. Dark red indicates operating areas, light red is transit routes. Mosul remains a hot spot, with the only ratline to Syria in operation. Click to view.

A document seized by US forces in Balad and a communiqu

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • M_Ray says:

    I love that the guy states the groups turned around 360 degrees.

  • Anonn says:

    Speaking of Balad…
    It seems that every day surgeniks come out with a new item about how a particular part of Iraq is all happy magic ponies, and on that day a bomb hits that exact spot. It would be funny if there weren’t real people dying due to the failed surge.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    First, no one around here claims Iraqi is all “happy magic ponies.” If you would check back to the end of December, I was warning folks about the poor security situation in Miqdadiyah in Diyala before the established media reported it. And you should check out all of the “happy magic ponies” stories written about Pakistan and Afghanistan around here too.
    The US military has been clear that these documents do not mean al Qaeda is defeated in Iraq, in fact they took great pains to state the opposite. If you would stop for a second, you might realize al Qaeda likely hit in Balad to offset the news of the captured document. But these are just the type of attacks that have turned the people against al Qaeda. Its not a good place to be in, and al Qaeda knows it, but they are forced into attacks such as this.

  • Hamidreza says:

    Looks like the postcolonial Left is gloating about these car-bomb and mentally-retarded attacks, and wish more of it would happen, so that they can go back to the days where they proclaimed the invasion has failed.
    Is there any doubts that the Left secretly supports al-Qaeda and wishes a genocide of Iraqis so that it can blame the failure on the US and the West?

  • Neo says:

    I think some people are reading a little too much into the diary. It is the diary of one leader who once had command of around six hundred men in the northeast section of Anbar province. His group was gradually whittled away and pushed farther north toward Balad. It is not an assessment for all of Anbar province, Western Bagdad, or Southern Saladin province. Other groups are in adjacent areas and areas overlap. No one has maintained that the Balad area is anything near to secure. Insurgents continue to infiltrate into the area from the Samarra area to the north.
    There is a great deal of special forces activity in the Balad area, but unlike Diyala province here is no securing force that covers the entire area between lake Thar Thar and the west bank Tigris river. The area is too large. In the southern portion north of Taji there is a securing force which extends up the west bank of the Tigris but they don’t extend up to Balad or west toward Thar Thar. Awakening groups have been very active in the area this fall but have not secured the area to the degree Anbar is secured. The area around Samarra is critical as it commands roads accessing this area from the north. Control Samarra and this area will come under control.
    A rather lame reference to the area being “all happy magic ponies”


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