7 years, 8 months ago
In Enemy Operations in Baghdad and Fallujah, relying on Andrew Lubin’s reporting from Fallujah, we discussed Fallujah as being a hot spot of insurgent activity as the ‘security plan’ got underway, and how far ahead Ramadi was in terms of pacification than other some parts of the Anbar province.
This contrast is accentuated by recent reports, and from the perspective of combat operations, Fallujah still remains the most active city in the Anbar province. Omar Fadhil observes that after “Looking at the two main routes of al-Qaeda and how the main strongholds around Baghdad are aligned, they suggest that the Fallujah area and its immediate surroundings still remain the main hub for terrorists.” Fallujah is strategically located, being in the Anbar province but close enough to Baghdad (slightly more than half an hour drive away) to still be a significant base for the insurgency in Baghdad.
The Marines continue to set up checkpoints, conduct raids, and patrol through the streets and neighborhoods of Fallujah. The insurgency continues to terrorize the population. “In western Iraq on Thursday, a suicide bomber hit a police recruiting center in Fallujah, and there were conflicting reports about the death toll. Police said as many as 25 people were killed, but the U.S. military said just one policeman died.” Yesterday, the insurgents sent several mortar rounds into residential population centers in Fallujah, killing nine noncombatants.
One reason for the continued violence in Fallujah is the lethargy of involvement of the tribes in combating the insurgency contra the model displayed in Ramadi. Mohammed of Iraq the Model gives us an explantion of the state of the so-called Awakening Council in the greater Fallujah area.
A member of the Anbar Awakening Council said that forces loyal to the council are close to clear Ramadi from terrorists who destroyed the city with the sabotage acts against society and infrastructure, adding that these forces are almost done clearing Heet, Kubeisa, Rutba, Barwana and Baghdadi while progress toward Fallujah, Huseiba and Haditha remains slow because the formations of the Awakening are still humble (in those areas).
Michael Yon is sending positive reports back from Anbar, but he is in Hit (or Heet), not Fallujah. The reports we are receiving and reading are consistent with the observations of Omar and Mohammed. Anbar cannot be discussed in a single breath, for it is too diverse. Fallujah lags behind the balance of Anbar and remains an area affected by the insurgency.
One needn’t spend much time around Marines to learn what Fallujah means in the lore and history of the United States Marine Corps. The first and second battles for Fallujah made it hallowed ground for the Marines. The insurgency seems determined to incite violence and prevent pacification of the area. The Marines are just as determined not to see the desecration of hallowed ground. And so the battle continues.
**** UPDATE ****
U.S. and Iraqi forces killed seven members of al-Qaida in Iraq and destroyed a truck bomb factory Saturday in Fallujah, the military said.
A two-hour gunbattle began just after 7 a.m. when Fallujah police came under small-arms fire and spotted two men wearing suicide vests fleeing from the scene. Marines accompanying the police returned fire, killing both militants, according to a statement.
The Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment then fired at five other suspects trying to escape, killing them and causing another suicide vest to explode, the military said.
The U.S.-led forces subsequently discovered a compound with two trucks rigged as suicide bombs and more bomb-making materials, which the military said were destroyed in a controlled detonation that did not damage nearby buildings.
Eight suspects were detained for questioning, the military said.
And from the Middle East Times:
BAGHDAD – UPDATED: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a local Al Qaeda leader in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah Saturday, police said, as fighting between rival Sunni factions undermined the insurgency.
The apparent assassination of the militant kingpin came as the US military announced that marines and Iraqi security forces had killed seven Al Qaeda fighters in a gunbattle during an assault which led to a truck bomb factory being destroyed.
Both incidents appeared to be linked to increased cooperation between Sunni factions, once sympathetic to the Iraqi resistance, and the US military, which is encouraging nationalist factions to fight Al Qaeda.
Colonel Tareq Al Dulaimi, a senior police intelligence officer with close ties to Anbar Province’s pro-US tribal coalition, confirmed reports that Muwaffaq Al Jugheifi had been killed but did not identify the attackers.
Dulaimi described the slain Al Qaeda leader as an Iraqi from Fallujah.
The process that Ramadi has been through … grips Fallujah at the moment.