Thursday, June 21, 2007

Arrowhead Ripper Day One

Michael Yon reports from Baquba. Here are some excerpts:

Civilian casualties are occurring, despite much discretion being used on the firing. I saw three MLRS rockets hit targets downtown today (June 20) and more were fired. Watched the video feed from the TOC as some of them hit. The targeting was perfect. Our guys had cleared out the civilians, but the enemy starts shootouts using civilians as cover. American officers are trying to account for civilian casualties; media is asking and command is still unable to answer, which of course looks like a cover-up. From what I see on the ground, there is no cover-up. The number is unknown but certainly there must be some....

The enemy in Baqubah is as good as any in Iraq, and better than most. That’s saying a lot. But our guys have been systematically trapping them, and have foiled some big traps set for our guys. I don’t want to say much more about that, but our guys are seriously outsmarting them. Big fights are ahead and we will take serious losses probably, but al Qaeda, unless they find a way to escape, are about to be slaughtered. Nobody is dropping leaflets asking them to surrender. Our guys want to kill them, and that’s the plan.

"Operation Phantom Thunder" is the name given to the Corps-sized wrapper operation which includes the well-publicized suboperations in Baquba and the Diyala, and less publicized operations Southeast of Baghdad and in Anbar, as well as continuing operations in Baghdad itself. Bill Roggio explains the big picture in plain language.

Nothing follows.


Blogger RoTapper said...

A shame that this barely gets mention on the news. All CNN had was something like "12 soldiers dead in a horrible week". Nothing in context or even a mention of a big offensive. Not a word about AQ in Messopotamia either.

It's been that way for a while though, unfortunately. X number of soldiers died in Iraq today, and in other news...

6/21/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

We should be sitting down with them - not killing them!!!

Oh, the humanity...

6/21/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Although Michael Yon says the Army is running a transparent battlefield and has good words for the NYT embed, I think the current coverage is a feature, not a bug.

Compare Phantom Thunder to the telegraphed operations against Iraq itself (OIF) and the first and second Fallujas. By concealing the size and intent of the total operation, Petraeus has managed to gain strategic surprise. Yes, the AQI in Baquba have set up their tactical dispositions, but their public relations people have been caught noticeably off-guard. They should have had prepared atrocity stories, talking points, protests out there. But they are on the wrong foot and must now struggle to come from behind.

Notice that we know very little about the scope and power of the other operations in other hotspots, the notorious area south of Baghdad and Anbar. The AQI in Baquba are probably asking themselves: can we run to the Triangle of Death? Can we run back to Anbar? And there maybe secret components to this operation we don't know about. What we know is what Michael Yon and the NYT embed can see. And maybe its best that way.

6/21/2007 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

ArabNews out of Saudi Arabia ran one of their patented boo-hoo editorials a couple of days ago about the poor little detainees at Gitmo. I can't wait for the first boo-hoo editorial once they realize we're not taking prisoners any more, but are just killing them (including the imported Saudi jihadists) then and there.

6/21/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

"I saw 3 MLRS rockets hit targets downtown today" - that just about says it all.

I love Prof. W's "envelope" theory on the surge, that it was some kind of still-born police action in open declaration by Bush and as portrayed by the media - and instead it's become a classic American concentrated attack.

There's no turning back, that way leads to failure.

6/21/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

What's this techno article doing in today's WaPo?

What makes these attacks different from the usual attacks in the perpetual head-hunting effort against Al Qaeda is this: Consistent reports from intelligence and military sources that special operations forces employed a new ground rocket system.

The system, called High Mobility Artillery Rockets, or HIMARS is reportedly a complement to Predator drones, particularly when weather prevents the high-altitude strikes, and are the new favorite when significant firepower is desired. The truck-mounted artillery rocket system (hence the "high mobility" moniker) first entered service in June 2005 at Fort Bragg, N.C., to complement the venerable MLRS rocket, which is heavier and more constrained in its movements and flexibility.

The last time the Mother Ship arrived, it had Gort to enforce the Peace. Now it has MLRS.

6/21/2007 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

MLRS no doubt has changed since I studied it at Ft. Belvoir, but it is hard to imagine anything with greater mobility than it. Except maybe, the Bazooka/M-72/Dragon/RPG-2 type of weapon.

One thing I wonder about is the numbers of enemy caught/killed. In all of these operations, it seems to be rather low. 4 killed here. 6 killed here. Two dozen "detained" here. Only in Afghanistan, in which the combat is more conventional and the enemy is fighting for territory, do the numbers of enemy killed in an engagement ever seem to reach into as much as the low 40's. Even in Lebanon, the terrorists they were fighting there recently supposedly numbered about 100.

I wonder if this is a reflection of the actual numbers of enemy engaged, political correctness limiting our engagement, conservative estimates - or the nature of the comflict itself? Does it really take only 5 here, 6 here of Al Queda to cause all those problems?

When people hear "superpower" they tend to think of SAC's mailed fist. The modern defintion seems to be a mailed fist holding an icepick.

6/22/2007 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Amir Ali Tayyab said...

I request MODERATORS to remove BELMONT CLUB's abuses against me

As long the abusive content against me online at will remain at the blog of Belmont Club, this blog of mine against them will continue as a protest. As soon that is removed, it will be removed accordingly.

Amir Ali Tayyab

6/26/2007 08:30:00 AM  

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