The War in Iraq – The Enemy is being routed across the entire Country
For about a week now, our troops have been carrying out one of the largest military campaigns in Iraq since 2003. Their goals are straight forward, surround Baghdad and other key targets outside of Baghdad, and effectively immobilize Al-Qaeda by moving in on them from all sides, then kill, or capture them!. This is D-Day, or our modern day version of the Invasion of Normandy, if you will, for the Coalition and Iraqi Forces in Iraq. The significance of these operations will not be over looked by our troops nor the enemy!
Operation Phantom Thunder is the main operation, Operation Arrowhead Ripper: in Baqubah and greater Diyala province; Operation Marne Torch: southwest of Baghdad; Operation Commando Eagle: the southeast; Operation Fardh al-Qanoon: Baghdad Security Plan; and, the current operation in eastern Anbar: unnamed to date. There are also Special operations that are rooting out the Iranian sponsored cells and other terrorists cells in the out lying areas and throughout Iraq. This offensive “is” an all out rout throughout Iraq to break the back of the terrorists once and for all.
Let no one mistake the significance of this offensive. Lives will be lost, American troops and Iraqi troops, as will, unfortunately, civilians. In all areas of battle, local citizens were given warnings of the impending battles. Many heeded them. However, in some areas, the locals refused to remove themselves from harms way. Of course, this makes it harder for the troops to rout the enemy. Over the course of the last few days, many citizens cheered the troops, ours and especially theirs, after the enemy was routed out of their area.
These Iraqi civilians are sick of Al-Qaeda and all the other foreign and home grown terrorists. After seeing their family members, friends, and neighbors killed or tortured for participating in the rebuilding of their local communities, towns, and country, they no loner believe these terrorists are fighting for their rights and freedom. They may hate the Coalition for having to be there; but, they also see the look on their kids faces when they go to a new school. They see the new water supply and electrical facilities being built when they had none before. They appreciate the new hospitals, the medical care, the new industry that brings them jobs and a means of becoming self sufficient. It has become harder and harder for them to support a cause that destroys every bit of progress and rebuilding that occurs.
They are tired of being used as shields by Al-Qaeda as they fight our troops. The instances of civilians being killed due to the enemy using them in this way is a horribly cowardly example of how little they really care about the Iraqi citizens, or civilians. Just the other day, several children were killed because Al-Qaeda made them stay in a house targeted by the Coalition and Iraqi forces. When the children tried to go outside they were forcefully made to stay inside. All these acts have done is slowly bring about the cooperation of the local civilians for the Coalition and Iraqi forces. More and more civilians are providing intel that helps both rout out the Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. They are beginning to assume a role in their own defense!
As the enemy begins to really feel the full impact of these new offensives, they will become bolder, more aggressive, and more dangerous.. They know the potential for their defeat is at hand. They have already planted more IED”s. They have booby trapped buildings, blow up or destroyed bridges. They are desperately doing all they can to impede the Coalition and Iraqi forces, and the Iraqi Police as the current operations begin to get into full momentum.
Michael Yon is embedded with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He provides a great on the scene analysis and report of the progress as he observe it happen. He also gives us an accounting of the media coverage by the various networks who have just come on the scene to “cover” the progress and success or failure of the surge operations. Bill Roggio also has an excellent daily report on the progress of all operations on all fronts.
Links to all the sites giving great updates are listed below. I have also included some links to their individual progress reports. We can not depend on the main stream media to get the truth out there for the public. It has become imperative that all bloggers, especially milbloggers keep posting progress on this new set of operations. Al-Qaeda is about to tuck its tail between its legs and run. We must let our troops know we support them and that we see the success of their efforts. This is especially important new as they will surely lose more of their fellow troops. The war in Iraq has just taken a new path. Our support or lack there of will do much to determine the outcome. Please, let us all give them what they need from us.
Be Not Afraid: by Michael Yon
Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One by Michael Yon