Saturday, September 10, 2005

Border Campaign

To follow the MSM, one's impression of Iraq would be one of our forces as hapless sitting-duck targets.

Others who have been reading Belmont Club and Michael Yon, however, have had a different view. A campaign to roll up the infiltration routes from Syria along chains of towns along the rivers has been underway for quite some time.

A new stage, going beyond disruption to actual pacification, seems to have begun, now that Iraqi forces are ready enough to hold the ground after the terrorists are swept out. A series of cordons has reduced their areas of operation to smaller and smaller locations.

Quick summaries of the action can be found at Bill Roggio's excellent site.

For a taste:
The final assault on Tal Afar has commenced. The joint U.S. and Iraqi strike force has begun searching homes door-to-door after targeted airstrikes in the center of town. It is estimated over one-third of the city has been swept by Coalition forces.

Defense Minister Dulaimi said the operation in Tal Afar was planned several months ago. He also states that Tal Afar is the Iraqi Army's first true test in combat in an urban environment, and but the first of such operations; "[Tal Afar] is a good experiment for the Iraqi forces. It is an urban warfare experiment. And we are going to carry out such operations in any Iraqi city that does not abide by the rules of law."

The cities and towns along the Euphrates ratline are specifically singled out for future attention; "We tell our people in Ramadi, Samarra, Rawah and Qaim that we are coming… There will be no refuge for the terrorists, criminals and bloodsuckers."
There's plenty more to catch up on there!


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