Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iraq update August 19, 2007

It looks like the expectations are for Al Qaeda to attempt to achieve as many spectacular, high death toll attacks as possible between now and when Petraeus and Crocker come back to report. To counter that, we are pressing the attack against AQI to keep them off balance and, hopefully, not allow any mass casualty attacks. Bill Roggio has more over at The Fourth Rail.
  • In today’s press briefing from Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Commanding General of Multinational Corps – Iraq, provided an operational update on Operation Phantom Thunder and its successor, Phantom Strike. Odierno reported the security situation in Baghdad has greatly improved, and further explained the scope of Phantom Strike, the operation designed to pursue al Qaeda and the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups.

Also, from The Fourth Rail is Wesley Morgan who is over there by invitation of Petraeus himself. He got to sit in on a meeting with Alberto Gonzales and Petreaus. He couldn't give details obviously, but he does talk in general terms about the next phases of operations. His post is called Battlefield Circulation Briefing with General Petraeus and is worth the read.
  • The primary effect of Phantom Thunder, as intended, was to push al Qaeda and its affiliates out of Baqubah and Arab Jabour while preventing them from moving west again into Anbar. By coordinating two division-level offensives and a major push against enemy routes into Anbar, Multinational Corps Iraq has apparently accomplished this; Baqubah and Arab Jabour remained very difficult areas, but nobody’s planning on pulling out of them, while Anbar, and particularly Ramadi, remain phenomenally secure as a result of the Army and Marines’ cooperation with the tribes.
Pat Dollard has a post up about us going after Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen that have been crossing over into Iraq to train Shiite militias called U.S. In Pursuit Of “About 50″ Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen.
  • BAGHDAD (AP) - American forces are tracking about 50 members of an elite Iranian force who have crossed the border into southern Iraq to train Shiite militia fighters, a top U.S. general said Sunday.

    Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, whose command includes the volatile southern rim of Baghdad and districts to the south, said his troops are tracking about 50 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in their area.

    “We know they’re here and we target them as well,” he said, citing intelligence reports as evidence of their presence.

And another one from Pat Dollard called Iran Bombs Iraq which describes Iran crossing over in the north to attack the Kurds.
  • On the heels of yesterday’s story here, we have this from the Guardian:

    Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

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