Battle Blog 13 - 19 June 2004

It has been another relatively quiet week in the Central Region, with most news from Armed Forces news services and other alternative news outlets emphasizing humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  In particular, Afghanistan is becoming one of the most amazing success stories in the War on Terror and the follow—on Coalition humanitarian aid and reconstruction operations.  Of course, the major press avoids these stories like the plague.

There have been initial reports from the major wire services about a Coalition air strike in Fallujah on the suspected hideout of Jordanian—born terrorist leader Abu Musab al—Zarqawi.  Reports state there were 17 to 20 Iraqi killed, and that secondary explosions followed the air attack, which indicated that there was a substantial amount of ammunition and weapons present in the house.

As is the Battle Blog policy, major wire service reports will not be parroted here.  Detailed descriptions of the action from alternative sources will be provided when they become available.

Up until the air strike today in Fallujah, there were no reports coming out of the town concerning any problems or any Coalition combat action.  Mainstream press reports seemed to focus on the supposed return to power of insurgent forces in the town.  However, it appears the Marines' experiences last week show the opposite.  In an operation completely ignored by the major press, the Marines made their first foray into Fallujah in more than a month with an interesting result: nothing happened.  Lejeune battalion makes trip into Fallujah describes a Marine patrol into Fallujah last week that was accomplished 'without a single shot fired.'  The 2d Battalion, 2d Marines made the trip into Fallujah with plenty of backup, including Marine Light Armored Vehicles (LAV), air support, and artillery.  Another positive development was that the local Iraqi Civil Defense Corps provided an escort, and 'that Iraqi police and soldiers turned out in full force to ensure the patrol wasn't tampered with as they passed the sand—filled barriers into the city.'  Although it was a tense time for all involved, the mission 'couldn't have gone any better."

Last week, the Battle Blog mentioned that the major wire services reported a decisive fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban, and the Blog's intent to provide a detailed report.  A definitive account is not yet available, however, Afghanistan Coalition Continues Progress as Elections Near presents an overall summary of the battle and other key events in Afghanistan.  The Commander of Combined Forces, Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Barno, stated that the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the Afghan National Army succeeded in heavy fighting.  Operating in the Zabul Province, Coalition forces 'killed more than 80 terrorists, captured others and seized weapons and ammunition caches.'  Lt. Gen. Barno goes on to describe continuing efforts against the Taliban with assistance from Pakistan, and Coalition efforts on the humanitarian aid front.  The 15th provincial reconstruction team was activated recently, and will assist with security in the upcoming elections.

Some details from last week's major action against the Taliban are emerging slowly.  A brief story, Marines, Afghan Soldiers Foil Ambush, Kill Taliban Fighters , relates how a Taliban ambush had the tables turned on them by the 22d MEU(SOC) and the Afghan Army.  And, 22nd MEU (SOC) Harriers join the fight against Taliban insurgents describes the Marines fixed—wing air support to the ground forces in this decisive operation.

And finally, an Afghan Combined Forces Command news release reinforces the success in Afghanistan by describing several humanitarian aid initiatives, and the continuing support from Coalition forces in preparing the country for elections in September.  There are already 'more than 1,000 voter registration sites open across the country with almost 2,000 teams registering voters.  As of June 12th, approximately 3.6 million Afghan citizens were registered to vote.'

Link to Battle Blog 6 June to 18 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 30 May — 5 June, 2004
Link to Battle Blog 23 — 29 May, 2004
Link to Battle Blog 16 — 22 May, 2004

It has been another relatively quiet week in the Central Region, with most news from Armed Forces news services and other alternative news outlets emphasizing humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  In particular, Afghanistan is becoming one of the most amazing success stories in the War on Terror and the follow—on Coalition humanitarian aid and reconstruction operations.  Of course, the major press avoids these stories like the plague.

There have been initial reports from the major wire services about a Coalition air strike in Fallujah on the suspected hideout of Jordanian—born terrorist leader Abu Musab al—Zarqawi.  Reports state there were 17 to 20 Iraqi killed, and that secondary explosions followed the air attack, which indicated that there was a substantial amount of ammunition and weapons present in the house.

As is the Battle Blog policy, major wire service reports will not be parroted here.  Detailed descriptions of the action from alternative sources will be provided when they become available.

Up until the air strike today in Fallujah, there were no reports coming out of the town concerning any problems or any Coalition combat action.  Mainstream press reports seemed to focus on the supposed return to power of insurgent forces in the town.  However, it appears the Marines' experiences last week show the opposite.  In an operation completely ignored by the major press, the Marines made their first foray into Fallujah in more than a month with an interesting result: nothing happened.  Lejeune battalion makes trip into Fallujah describes a Marine patrol into Fallujah last week that was accomplished 'without a single shot fired.'  The 2d Battalion, 2d Marines made the trip into Fallujah with plenty of backup, including Marine Light Armored Vehicles (LAV), air support, and artillery.  Another positive development was that the local Iraqi Civil Defense Corps provided an escort, and 'that Iraqi police and soldiers turned out in full force to ensure the patrol wasn't tampered with as they passed the sand—filled barriers into the city.'  Although it was a tense time for all involved, the mission 'couldn't have gone any better."

Last week, the Battle Blog mentioned that the major wire services reported a decisive fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban, and the Blog's intent to provide a detailed report.  A definitive account is not yet available, however, Afghanistan Coalition Continues Progress as Elections Near presents an overall summary of the battle and other key events in Afghanistan.  The Commander of Combined Forces, Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Barno, stated that the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the Afghan National Army succeeded in heavy fighting.  Operating in the Zabul Province, Coalition forces 'killed more than 80 terrorists, captured others and seized weapons and ammunition caches.'  Lt. Gen. Barno goes on to describe continuing efforts against the Taliban with assistance from Pakistan, and Coalition efforts on the humanitarian aid front.  The 15th provincial reconstruction team was activated recently, and will assist with security in the upcoming elections.

Some details from last week's major action against the Taliban are emerging slowly.  A brief story, Marines, Afghan Soldiers Foil Ambush, Kill Taliban Fighters , relates how a Taliban ambush had the tables turned on them by the 22d MEU(SOC) and the Afghan Army.  And, 22nd MEU (SOC) Harriers join the fight against Taliban insurgents describes the Marines fixed—wing air support to the ground forces in this decisive operation.

And finally, an Afghan Combined Forces Command news release reinforces the success in Afghanistan by describing several humanitarian aid initiatives, and the continuing support from Coalition forces in preparing the country for elections in September.  There are already 'more than 1,000 voter registration sites open across the country with almost 2,000 teams registering voters.  As of June 12th, approximately 3.6 million Afghan citizens were registered to vote.'

Link to Battle Blog 6 June to 18 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 30 May — 5 June, 2004
Link to Battle Blog 23 — 29 May, 2004
Link to Battle Blog 16 — 22 May, 2004