“The Fight for Baghdad” – Amaliya Ma’an ila Al-Amam or Operation Together Forward


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Maj. Gen. Thurmond does “PR” work with the locals in Baghdad.

Army Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of Multi-National Division – Baghdad, has been given the arduous “task” of freeing Baghdad. Right now Baghdad is under siege by the terrorists who feed into the sectarian differences  and use those difference in an attempt to start an Iraqi Civil War. But this condition exists in primarily four areas of Baghdad.

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Maj. Gen. Thurmond listens to a local Baghdad businessman.

Al-Qaeda has stated on numerous occasions that Iraq is where they are making their stand against the”Infidels” in the West and the Christian societies. Even though Zarqarwi is dead and no one has charismatic has taken his place, Al-Qaeda is still very much involved in Iraq. Arms, weaponry, trained fighters, and religious support and training  in Islamic ideology are pouring into Baghdad from Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

So how will General Thurman accomplish his task?

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American and Iraqi Army troops repair a check point in Baghdad.

“The combined operations on simultaneous objectives are led by the soldiers of 1st and 5th Brigades from the 6th Iraqi Army Division, and policemen from 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, supported by Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.”

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Iraqi Army troops do pass in review.

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Iraqi Army on Patrol in Baghdad.

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Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division capture insurgents during a demonstration of military ability that took place at Forward Operating Base Mahmudiah South Monday.(Story and photos by Sgt. Trevor Snyder
124th Mobile Public  Affairs Detachment)

The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team was redeployed to Baghdad as they set in the airport terminal at Kuwait. The Brigade was waiting to depart for home after just completing a year long deployment in Mosul and that area.

This distinguished fighting unit was an experiment on the Army’s part in establishing a fully independent, deployable, agile mobile force on an as needed basis. I like to think of them as the Army’s version of the Navy Seals except they are strictly a land force and are larger units. But their support weaponry is smaller, more mobile, and state of the art.

Of course the 172nd is not the only Stryker Brigade Combat Team; but, they are certainly one of the most tried and tested Stryker Brigades right now due to their previous experience. The “Arctic Wolves” captured a huge weapons cache on one of these cordons. Go to the link and take a look at the size of the cache on the video link at the bottom of the page. You will be amazed at its size.

Home based in Alaska, I personally find it comforting to know that units such as this will exist in America when they return home in the event of a homeland land attack. I see this as a threat of ever increasing inevitability if our political leaders don’t start acting like America is at war with an enemy that is determined to destroy us.

What the forces are doing is effectively surrounding or closing off an area. Then the Iraqi Army forces, with Coalition support, conducts door to door, building to building, searches. They remove insurgent and terrorist cells and weapons caches. When that area is thoroughly swept, the Iraqi Police secure the area to provide continuous security and safety.

After the area is cleared and Police support is put in place, the hard work begins:

The civil work is key to getting the Iraqis to stop the cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian murders. Iraqi officials in al-Doura are clearing the garbage from the streets, dismantling illegal roadblocks and engaging with district and neighborhood advisory councils. The people in the mahalas have confidence that life will improve for them, and that the government is the way forward, Thurman said.

Once the Iraqi security forces clear the neighborhood, Iraqi police hold the area and Iraqi officials work to ensure the essential services – electricity, water and sewage – are working in those areas. Other local officials work to ensure economic opportunity in the area.

According to General Thurmond the “task” will not not be completed over night. But progress is being made. As the General says:

“The Battle of Baghdad is about perception and building trust and confidence in the average citizen of
Iraq.”

For more from CENTCOM on the War in Iraq or Afghanistan, go to the Centcom RSS feed in myupper left side bar. Another great source of information on the War in Iraq is the blog, Iraq War Today.

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~ by devildog6771 on August 21, 2006.

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