Fallujah…..a term that will strike many chords to many people….Fallujah has been the focal point of several major battles….especially in the 21st century…..
The first battle for Fallujah was in 2004 or Operation Vigilant Resolve…..was an operation to root out extremist elements of Fallujah and an act of retaliation to, as well as an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators of, the killing of four U.S. contractors in April 2004.
On 1 May 2004, the United States withdrew from Fallujah, as Lieutenant General James Conway announced that he had unilaterally decided to turn over any remaining operations to the newly formed Fallujah Brigade, which would be armed with U.S. weapons and equipment under the command of former Ba’athist Army General Jasim Mohammed Saleh. Several days later, when it became clear that Saleh had been involved in military actions against Shi’ites under Saddam Hussein, U.S. forces announced that Muhammed Latif would instead lead the brigade. Nevertheless, the group dissolved and had turned over all the U.S. weapons to the insurgency by September
The second battle for Fallujah……or shall we call it Operation Phantom Fury……it became one the bloodiest battles since Tet in Vietnam and the battle for Hue.
Nevertheless, the battle proved to be less than the decisive engagement that the U.S. military had hoped for. Some of the nonlocal insurgents, along with Zarqawi, were believed to have fled before the military assault, leaving mostly local militants behind. Subsequent U.S. military operations against insurgent positions were ineffective at drawing out insurgents into another open battle, and by September 2006, the situation had deteriorated to the point that the Al-Anbar province that contained Fallujah was reported to be in total insurgent control by the U.S. Marine Corps, with the exception of only pacified Fallujah, but now with an insurgent-plagued Ramadi.
After the U.S. military operation of November 2004, the number of insurgent attacks gradually increased in and around the city, and although news reports were often few and far between, several reports of IED attacks on Iraqi troops were reported in the press. Most notable of these attacks was a suicide car bomb attack on 23 June 2005 on a convoy that killed 6 Marines. Thirteen other Marines were injured in the attack. However, fourteen months later insurgents were again able to operate in large numbers. (Thanx to Wikipedia)
Now the ISIS franchise has been in control of the city for a couple of years…..after many skirmishes the Iraqi Army is now attacking the city to re-gain control…
With the fall and virtual destruction of the Anbar Provincial capital city of Ramadi earlier this year, Fallujah is the major ISIS city that is closest to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and is the target of a new offensive announced by Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi this weekend.
Fallujah is actually the longesst-held ISIS city in Iraq, falling in January of 2014, when public protests against the Maliki government provided an opening for the ISIS forces to take over parts of the city. Iraqi forces have been surrounding the city in recent months, pending this offensive.
Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul ordered all civilians to flee the city of some 200,000 people, adding that they are providing “corridors” to escape through. This call came in spite of weeks of Iraqi officials claiming ISIS wasn’t allowing anyone to flee.
The Army prediction is that it is only a matter of time before it falls to the Iraqi Army…..
ISIS is retaliating in the only way they know……
Isis execution squads have appeared in the streets of Fallujah, a city 40 miles west of Baghdad, with orders to kill anybody trying to flee or surrender as government forces advance towards this Isis stronghold. “Groups of Isis fighters are saying they will kill anybody in Fallujah who leaves their house or waves a white flag,” says Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a political activist who spoke by phone to relatives and friends in the city.
Iraqi army units started an offensive east of Fallujah on Monday morning after heavy shelling and airstrikes overnight. Mr Dulaimi said that Shia militias known as the Hashd al-Shaabi were joining in the bombardment with a home-made-rocket called “the Nimr”, named after the leader of the Saudi Shia minority, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudi authorities in January this year.
Now the tally is starting to filter out of the city from the news action to re-take it……Although the offensive was launched on Monday, Iraqi government forces have besieged the city and its suburbs for several months now, resulting in shortages of food and medicines.
At least 15 civilians have been killed so far during the offensive, sources told Al Jazeera.
At least 35 soldiers and allied militiamen have also been reported killed. More than a dozen Shia militias are taking part under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.
Source: Fallujah: Déjà vu all over again
The battle is under way….how will this end? Will ISIS be removed from the city? How many Americans are part of this operation?