Tuesday, June 19, 2007

As You Read This, A Major Iraq Battle Rages

Baquba. According to Mike Yon, an embed-blogger, this will be a name remembered.

Operation Arrowhead Ripper, involving Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, was aimed at dismantling al Qaeda operations around Baquba, a hotbed of unrest north of Baghdad, a military statement said.

Baquba is the capital of Diyala province, a mixed region located north and east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Military officials believe some al Qaeda in Iraq elements have recently migrated from Baghdad and Anbar province to Diyala.

The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division kicked off the operation "with a quick-strike nighttime air assault earlier today," the military said Tuesday.

And with something unusual for AlQueda--actual pitched-battle preparations are in place.

Northeast of Baghdad, innocent civilians are being asked to leave Baquba. More than 1,000 AQI fighters are there, with perhaps another thousand adjuncts. Baquba alone might be as intense as Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in late 2004. They are ready for us. Giant bombs are buried in the roads. Snipers—real snipers—have chiseled holes in walls so that they can shoot not from roofs or windows, but from deep inside buildings, where we cannot see the flash or hear the shots. They will shoot for our faces and necks. Car bombs are already assembled. Suicide vests are prepared.

The enemy will try to herd us into their traps, and likely many of us will be killed before it ends. Already, they have been blowing up bridges, apparently to restrict our movements. Entire buildings are rigged with explosives. They have rockets, mortars, and bombs hidden in places they know we are likely to cross, or places we might seek cover. They will use human shields and force people to drive bombs at us. They will use cameras and make it look like we are ravaging the city and that they are defeating us. By the time you read this, we will be inside Baquba, and we will be killing them. No secrets are spilling here.

Good time to say a prayer for the 3rd ID.

HT: Confederate Yankee

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