Despite near silence from the MSM this week, General Petraeus has launched the long-anticipated surge battle campaign.
Here’s an official update from CentCom:
MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq – A joint operation geared toward curbing terrorist activity southwest of Baghdad is yielding results almost immediately.
Operation Commando Eagle, a mix of helicopter-borne air assaults and Humvee-mounted movements, included Soldiers from several battalions of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division.
The operation, which began today, targeted a series of houses which local citizens indicated were being used by al-Qaeda cells to intimidate them and launch attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces.
And here is today’s dispatch from embedded blogger Michael Yon.
The first day of operation Arrowhead Ripper was intense. The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.
The combat has only just begun, and media has now figured out this is serious business. During the morning brief (June 20th), Major Robbie Parke mentioned that CNN, TIME, Reuters and some others, are trying to get out here now. Problem is space. Looks like Gordon and I are mostly alone for now. Others are said to be in Baqubah, but if they are here, they are missing some of the most important parts, and if they were at the important commander’s meetings, I would have seen them.
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.A positive indicator on the 19th and the 20th is that most local people apparently are happy that al Qaeda is being trapped and killed. Civilians are pointing out IEDs and enemy fighters, so that’s not working so well for al Qaeda. Clearly, I cannot do a census, but that says something about the locals.
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Confederate Yankee reports that in the past 48 hours, more than 40 al Qaeda terrorists (including a Libyan) have been killed, more than 100 have been captured in these and other on-going operations, and tons of munitions have been captured or destroyed in weapons caches.
Americans, be proud of your military today. We are finally taking the fight to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Our servicemen and women are laying down their lives this week to ensure we keep the battles of World War III overseas, and not in our streets.
God Bless America.