9 years, 4 months ago
In Enemy Operations in Baghdad and Fallujah, we pointed out that Fallujah was a current hot spot of enemy combat action, citing among other action recent chlorine attacks. On Wednesday morning there was further action in Fallujah.
Iraqi Army soldiers and police repelled a complex attack at the Fallujah Government Center, including two suicide truck bombs containing chlorine, on the morning of March 28.
The attack began at 6:33 a.m. with mortar fire, followed by two truck bombs and small arms fire. Iraqi Police identified the first suicide attacker and fired on the truck, causing it to detonate before reaching the compound. Iraqi Army soldiers spotted the second suicide truck approaching the gate and engaged it with small arms fire, causing it to also detonate near the entrance of the compound.
Approximately 15 Iraqi Security and Coalition Force members sustained injuries from the bomb blast and were evacuated to the 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade’s aid station and a Coalition medical facility.
Numerous Iraqi Soldiers and Policemen are being treated for symptoms such as labored breathing, nausea, skin irritation and vomiting that are synonymous with chlorine inhalation.
We maintain the position we staked out in Intelligence Bulletin #4 concerning chlorine attacks. As to the military value of gas versus conventional explosives, the insurgents have chosen the far less effective of the two tactics. Furthermore, according to the Multi-National Force press release, while personnel from the Coalition force sustained injuries, there were no reported fatalities.
The usually biased but sometimes informative Azzaman has an article entitled Fallujah may slip out of U.S. control that, using primarily this incident, comes to unsubstantiated conclusions concerning the current state and future of Fallujah.
Iraqi insurgents have intensified their attacks on U.S. targets inside the restive city of Falluja and the outlying villages and towns.
Daring attacks have taken U.S. troops aback in a city where the majority of its nearly 300,000 people are not happy with the presence of U.S. invaders.
Falluja has become a symbol of anti-U.S. resistance not only in Iraq but across most of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
It took the mighty U.S. military more than a month to flush the rebels out in 2004. The battle to regain the city caused massive destruction and had turned most of it into heaps of ruins.
But the rebels, most of whom had retreated to the countryside to escape devastating U.S. firepower, have reorganized their ranks and are now using more sophisticated means to drive the Americans away.
Two trucks one loaded with explosives and the other with toxic gas penetrated the fortified U.S. military camp in the city. The first suicide bomber drove through the gate with his explosives-laden truck only to be followed by the second truck full of chlorine bombs.
The rebels see the massive 2004 falluja attack as a defeat for the U.S. and a turning point in the battled to force its troops out of the country.
In the attack on the U.S. base, the second truck with poisonous gas entered the camp. The U.S. has not yet released reports of casualties but Iraqi police sources say tens of people, mostly Iraqi police officers as well as U.S. servicemen, were killed or injured.
This hyperventilating account of what can only be seen as a failure by the insurgents shows Azzaman for what they are: a mouthpiece for the insurgency. In this instance, the editors at Azzaman have allowed themselves to look similar to the jihadist propaganda web sites such as Jihad Unspun that had another hyperventilating account of this incident where they attempted to make it look like something other than a tactical failure.
The Strategy Page has an outstanding assessment of the history of suicide bombers and the track record of failure that marks their path. It is most certainly the case that suicide jihadists can cause much damage and wreak much havoc, as well as be a catalyst for sectarian violence. However, turning to this tactic is demonstration that they have lost the support of the population, at least to a large extent.
Turning east towards Sadr City, Moqtada al Sadr issued a statement that whipped up his supporters by blaming the violence in Iraq on the presence of the U.S. By all sensible accounts, the absence of the U.S. would allow the Shi’a to engage in the final stages of genocide of the Sunni population, which is now only about ten percent of the population after the exodus of the Sunnis over the last year. What Sadr wants is unrestricted freedom to implement his policies rather than equity and peace for Iraq. He and his hard line followers in the Mahdi army are as much terrorists as al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al Sunna.
IRAQSlogger is reporting that there was recently an attempt on Sadr’s life.
Amid reports of heavy fighting in a raid on a Sadrist official in the Kufa district, a member of the Iraqi Parliament has said that the Sadrist current foiled an attempt on Muqtada al-Sadr’s life, also in Kufa, and fingered US involvement in the plot.
Baha al-‘Araji, a member of the Iraqi parliament with the Sadrist current told the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi that aides to Muqtada al-Sadr had discovered a plan to assassinate the cleric during Friday prayers in Kufa, the newspaper reports in Arabic.
The attack was foiled when al-Sadr failed to appear in Kufa on the specified Friday. The al-Quds al-Arabi account does not refer to the date of the alleged foiled attack.
This account appears rather soft and unsubstantiated. However, if true, this directly comports with the counsel we have given to effect the “strategic disapperance” of Moqtada al Sadr as a cornerstone of the security plan. In Intelligence Bulletin #3, we argued:
… if Sadr returns to Iraq, his arrest or disappearance might incite such a firestorm of problems that the Baghdad security plan is brought to a halt. The Mahdi army doesn’t like even the presence of combat operation posts or bases in Sadr City. Sadr will never be convicted in a court in Iraq, and a show trial that exhonerates him would be the worst of all possible outcomes. The U.S. is tracking the whereabouts of Sadr. Major General William Caldwell said that Sadr was still inside Iran as of 24 hours ago. This seems like a confident report, and assuming its accuracy, it gives lattitude for the appropriate action to remove Sadr from the political and spiritual scene, thus enabling the security plan to succeed. We highly commend the notion of a strategic disappearance of Sadr as one key to the overall success of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
One casualty of war is truth. The truth in these cases is that the chlorine attacks have been tactical failures, and cooperation with Sadr is the devil’s game. We have no business believing the lies of the jihadists, any more than we have of promulgating their lies by seeking reconciliation between Sadr and the Sunnis. Sadr is a criminal and a killer and wants nothing of reconciliation.