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.
- 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.
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.
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.