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On the Offensive in Ramadi

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ: Coalition forces continue to chip away at the insurgency in Ramadi. The latest operation, Rams consists of “approximately 100 Iraqi Army Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division and 400 Soldiers from the 2/28 Brigade Combat Team”.

Five al-Qaeda in Iraq suspects have been captured. Four IEDs and four caches have been found during the operation. According to the CENTCOM press release, “One of the caches was significant in size and contained the following items: dozens of mortar rounds, approximately 100 rocket propelled grenades and RPG launchers, approximately 150 hand grenades, anti-armor missiles and rockets, a rocket launcher, dozens of small arms weapons and AK-47s, plastic explosives, bomb-making material and body armor.” These weapons, specifically the IEDs, will be unavailable to the insurgency for attacks during the election.

Rams follows six prior operations in the city directed at individual neighborhoods, which began with Mountaineers in early October, and was followed with Panthers, Bruins, Lions, Tigers, and Shank

The results of the small scale offensives in Ramadi are still in question. Attacks in the city are said to be down 60%, but there is still a robust insurgency in the city. Ramadi is the provincial capitol of Anbar province, with 400,000 residents, and there are political ramifications to an assault on the scale of Fallujah. The elections are less than two weeks away and the new government may see things differently. This isn’t an issue of the Coalition possessing combat power, but a matter of trying an alternative strategy to subdue the insurgency in the city.

Reference

Listed below are links that reference On the Offensive in Ramadi:

» Bill Roggio on Operation Rams from Murdoc Online
On the Offensive in Ramadi At Threats Watch:Rams follows six prior operations in the city directed at individual neighborhood,s which began with Mountaineers in early... [Read More]

» Mosul and Ramadi from Peace Like A River
I bring up the successes the Coalition has had in Mosul to point out that the same can be done in Ramadi. Ramadi is a key to bringing the violent western province and Sunni Triangle under control. [Read More]

Feedback

Hi Bill,

Keep up the excellent work. Although this post is more in line with your past writing, it meshes well with the more personal accounts--which have been terrific. Thanks!

The Media Research Center has new data that reconfirms the necessity of the work you are doing. Check out PowerLine for a summary.

The elections are about a week away, and unfortunately as predicted, there have been some shitty attacks--especially the one on the police station was utterly disgusting. But overall, I think Iraqis will be out in full force to vote.

Since this vote is for the long haul, let's pray things run smoothly and the coalition forces have success through the process.

Best Regards,

Shawn

Yes, what Shawn said.

Do you think the attempts to secure Ramadi will be undertaken similarly to those which seem to have worked well in Mosul, as reported by Michael Yon? Or, is there a different dynamic at work which requires differing tactics?

What is happening with 3/7 Weapons Co in Ramadi? Keep up the great work! Your reporting is always appreciated here at home!

Ramadi will likely go down like Mosul, not Fallujah. Again, there are political decisions being made here. And the military personnel I have spoken to believe the choking of the ratline to Syria will have a long term effect on the situation in Ramadi and Baghdad.

Wow, that was fast. Just read the news that Operation Rams has completed successfully and with no injuries or casualties. Excellent.

Another question for Bill: Most of your writing focus has been on Al Anbar and the ratlines from Syria, but I'm wondering if you heard from any soldiers whether there are similar ratlines coming in directly from Iran, or perhaps its leveraging Syria?

Ironically, Iran is regularly accused of having a desire to control and influence the Shiites in Iraq. But at the same time, it is allied with Hezbollah and Syria which seems quite indiscriminate in attacks on Shiites in Iraq (although the attacks on Shiites seems to have abated and shifted towards Sunni's dropping weapons for butter--pressure from Zawahiri or Iran involved?).

You may not be able to answer these Bill--perhaps Steve has some insight.

Your reporting from Iraq is 1000 times more enlightening than watching the news on TV. All you get there is 5 seconds reporting on the latest deaths or big explosion. No context, no thinking.

This is great - keep it up!

Response to Shawn's question:
It would be more accurate to say that Iran is the primary sponsor of Hizbullah, which is a Shia organization, and has a working relationship with Syria (rather than saying they are allies). The relationship between Syria and Hizbullah is purely strategic; they have common interests in Lebanon, but very different ideologies.

I would also be surprised if Syria actually had the leverage to be in on the targets in Iraq. They have been important as a rear base, but their main interest is just keeping the violence up, regardless of who the targets are. Once a stable democratic government is in place in Iraq, the illegitimacy of the regime in Damascus will be all the more clear, and Syrian Kurds will be all the more energized. Assad will fall.

As for infiltration from Iran, Bill will likely have more info on that than I, but I would say this is one of those political issues, more political than military. This is due to the closeness of some Shia to Iran.

Thanks, Kirk.

It's definitely hard to generalize one country or group of people, the relationships are so complicated and have fluctuated in the region over so many years.

As long as our side is kicking butt and succeeding, I'm happy.