The Battle of Fallujah
This thread, just updates what is going on on the ground tactically, generally through the media BS.
So Marines and Iraqi forces have taken the hospital, remember after the fall of Baghdad not enough was done and many key bits of infrastructure were looted, I think that they have learned from their mistake and have adapted strategy likewise.
More images here
So...did they let the civillians out first?
Civilians have been allowed to leave but innocent people will almost certainly die at the hands of all sides either by accident or deliberately.
this was on The Messopotamian, go yourself and read - very timely
السيف اصدق انباءا من الكتب------------ في حده الحد بين الجد واللعب
Insurgents have an interest in keeping civilians in place as a buffer/shield/protection.
Oh, my goodness, this scares me. It's not going to be pretty, to put it mildly.
The only civilians who are still in Fallujah are there to protect their houses from looting, support the insurgents or simply have nowhere else to go.
I've read many articles over the last couple of days. One was a minister of Justice that was ffired for taking exceptions to the way Iraqi (not coalition) prisoners are being tortured.
To Kofi Annan warnign the US.
I don't have any idea how to proceed in Iraq but I think this is the wrong way. I agree with the writer. Why did we take the hospital? Many say to limit the outside world the number of civilian casualities. This situation of screwed up and all thanks to Bushit.
All the makings of a war crime - with Australia silently onside
A US-led attack on the Iraqi Sunni-stronghold will breach the Geneva conventions
11/08/04 "SMH" -- We need to be clear on what is about to happen in the Iraqi city of Falluja, about 64 kilometres west of Baghdad and a key centre of Sunni population in Iraq. This city has for many months held out as a centre of Sunni-based political-military resistance, refusing to accept the authority either of the former US-led occupying authority nor, since July, of the interim Iraqi administration led by the Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.
Falluja is now to be brought to heel by overwhelming military power. As I write this, the US attack on the city has begun. The message to Falluja from the US armed forces in Iraq and from Allawi was brutally simple: submit now to Baghdad's authority or face attack.
It is still possible that resistance in Falluja will melt away in the face of US attack. While this would be a more optimistic scenario, I think it more likely at this point that the insurgents will fight, because too much is at stake politically for them to accept a bloodless Allawi victory. I look here at the - in my judgement, now more likely - scenario that Falluja insurgents will dig in and defy the invasion force.
What I believe is then likely to be done to Falluja will be a war crime and crime against humanity, morally indefensible by any civilised standard or for that matter, by the Statute of the International Criminal Court (to which, conveniently, neither the US nor Iraqi Government adheres).
This will be no neat, surgical strike. To get the measure of this, think of the Warsaw rising in 1944, or the Russian Army's destruction of the Chechen capital, Grozny. In 1999 this already battered city (of originally 400,000 people) was finally destroyed by massive Russian bombardment. Today, insurgents still fight it out with Russian troops among the ruins.
Eighteen months ago, before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Falluja was a living city of 300,000 people. Now - depopulated of most of its civilians by intimidation and fear - what is left looks like it is about to be blasted out of existence, simply as a demonstration of overwhelming US power in Iraq.
Of course, the US Army has been for weeks "humanely" encouraging women and children to leave the encircled city through checkpoints while there is still time to save their lives.
The Russians did the same before and during the destruction of Grozny. In a few days, as the battle and the flight of civilians expands, there may be tens of thousands of new refugees in tent cities, and tens of thousands of women left without husbands, and children left without fathers.
If this attack goes ahead as appears inevitable, it will obviously breach the laws of war and the Geneva conventions. First, it will grossly exceed proportionality in terms of ends and means. What intended political or military objective could justify so much death, the creation of so many new refugees, and wholesale destruction of homes?
What threat does the city of Falluja pose to the Iraqi state at this point? Allawi has claimed that free elections cannot take place unless Falluja is subdued. What a spurious argument.
The truth is that this city, which has become a symbol of Sunni-Iraqi political resistance to the occupiers, is to be made an example of, to deter others. The message the siege of Falluja sends is brutally simple: resist us and we will destroy you. It is the same message that the Wehrmacht sent in Warsaw in 1944, and the Russian Army in Grozny in 1999.
This attack will also violate the rules of war and the Geneva conventions in having grossly indiscriminate effects on civilians and civilian homes and infrastructure. America's largely untrained in battle but over-armed forces will start their attack "humanely", but as they inevitably take numbers of lethal casualties, their tactics will quickly escalate to indiscriminate bombing and shelling of the city using their WMD armouries.
An unnamed US military commander in the tightening military ring around Falluja proudly boasted (as heard on ABC Radio yesterday) that this battle will go down in US military history as another Hue. Indeed it will - who can forget the wholesale artillery destruction of that sacred, historic Vietnamese city? "We had to destroy it in order to save it" was the line at the time. Now it looks like our military ally in Iraq is about to do it all over again in Falluja.
Perhaps capturing a hospital early ensures that it will remain open and cannot be used as a base of operations by the terrorists, it also prevents looting of the hospital which will make saving lives easier as the batte progresses, also one must consider the outrageous figures being released in april and the baseless allegations of a sniper campaign against civilians by the US - fact is that when a marine sniper does his job there isn't much left to recover a bullet from.
SMH is filled with anti-American screeds - such as that one which overlooks the terrorism and equates the USMC with the Nazi's and Russian Army. If the US truly didn't care about civilians they would just drop a bunch of MOAB's on Fallujah.
Now that that bit is over
I was reading through a bit before on the use of IDF urban combat tactics to avoid a bloodbath. They are expecting to have houses boobytraped, civilians being used as human sheilds, carbombs and snipers - it is one tough slog of a city and the terrorists and insurgents have had months to prepare for this battle if they choose to fight then they will be prepared. May the battle be as short and bloodless as possible and may political sensitivities not end it halfway, it should be all or nothing anything in between is a waste of lives.
U.S. Marines......No Better Friend.......No Worse Enemy.
The Battle for Fallujah: The Underlying Military Issues
November 08, 2004
Anthony H. Cordesman
Urban warfare can be highly unpredictable. There is a tendency to assume that because some of the bloodiest battles in history have occurred in cities, all such battles are bloody. In practice, many urban defenses collapse almost immediately, partly through inexperience but more often because the defender is not committed to an almost suicidal form of last ditch combat. The rapid fall of Baghdad in 2003 is a good example of a rapid collapse caused by both military incompetence on the part of defender (and high
confidence on the part of the attacker) and a lack of commitment to final combat. Fallujah seems far more likely to have a determined set of defenders, although this is not certain. It certainly has enough armed Islamists and potential diehards, and Zarqawi and others have already promised a bitter battle. At the same time, several issues must be considered:
• The US has prepared the battlefield. It has had months in which to create a mosaic of the insurgent strongpoints and lines of advance in the city, and to use sensors like UAVs, radars, night vision and mapping, SIGINT/COMINT systems, etc. It has had time to train with has encircled the city and taken the bridges to the West. It has been using air strikes for weeks and has sharply intensified them over the last few days. It has conducted initial AC-130 strikes. The Iraqi government has prepared the political groundwork for an attack through declaring a state of emergency; visibly arresting foreign insurgents, and beginning the first tactical operation on the ground by having Iraqi Special Forces get the credit for taking the hospital. The defenders have also had time to prepare, but there is nothing rushed about the US-led operation.
• Insurgent numbers and “density” may well be low relative to the size of the city. Fallujah is a medium sized city with a core population of around 150,000 and a greater urban population of up to 300,000. Reports indicate that some 50- 80% of the population has left, and that the core insurgent strength is anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 – more probably in the 2,000-3,000 range. The number of part timers and volunteers that will join them could be high or low, and is unknown. In any case, the number of insurgents is high enough to causes large numbers of clashes, but not large enough to defend a broad urban area. • The insurgents could be quickly driven out of the more open areas in the modern city and be forced to defend part of the more crowed and narrow old city. If so, ambushes and booby traps would delay US forces but not defeat them. To succeed, it would have to be able to create various fortresses, but the US has already made it clear that it will attack such strongpoints from the air with precision-guided weapons. Armor and infantry could then penetrate into the area. The result would be considerable physical destruction in a limited area, but become a death trap for the insurgents. Iraq troops could also follow up in sensitive target areas like Mosques.
• The insurgents will know the ground, almost to the building, but the US has compensating advantages. It is doubtful that the insurgents will have more than a few night vision devices, any counter to US standoff sensors and UAVs, and anything approaching effective communications. Many will have little or no realistic combat training and be very poor weapons operators and marksmen. They will have to use mortars and rockets, relatively low-grade anti-armor weapons like RPGs, and possibly relative obsolete MANPADs. This still can make them high lethal, but the US has fixed and rotary wing air supremacy, “owns the night” in terms of technology, has a monopoly of armor, has precision artillery and advanced ground sensors and fire control, real-time situational awareness based on systems like Blue Force Tracker, and vastly superior tactical experience and training. It should be stressed that the end result can still be very
brutal and lethal combat, but this is not Hue. The insurgents can be highly lethal in tactical clashes, but cannot deal with a US-led force on anything like even terms.
• The insurgents may be divided and have other objectives than a last stand
Martyrdom is easy to call for, but better to inflict than suffer. There are no clear indications how many Sunni groups make up this number. Some 35 Sunni groups
have claimed to exist during the fighting, but many are shell groups. The core elements in Fallujah seem to be native Sunni Islamists, FRLs and Sunni nationalists, foreign volunteers, and some core outside-led Islamists under Zarqawi. It is not clear how well these groups will unite, particularly as they come under intense pressure. It seems at least possible, that many native Sunnis will not fight to the last or even at all. It is also possible that any foreign or even local extremists who do stay behind will see scores settled and internal power struggles either by direct attacks by rivals or by informers turning their opponents into the Interim Government or US. Certainly, at least some of the targeting of US air strikes over the last few weeks seems to be based on such informers. As a result,
insurgent tactics based on martyrdom and last stands is the best possible tactic for the US and Iraqi government if they act decisively and quickly. In contrast, putting up an initial battle, leaving low-level cadres to martyrdom, and dispersing to fight another day is by far the most sensible tactic for both local insurgents and outside cadres and leaders.
• Collateral damage, civilian casualties, and religious buildings will be a constraint for Coalition forces, but the impact may be limited. Insurgents are already using them as weapons – claiming the US attacked the main hospital to deny insurgents medical care, and using the bodies of children on television. The fact remains, however, that US commanders have to know that slow, methodical advances may reduce Collateral damage, civilian casualties, and religious damage in a given clash or day, but cumulatively produces far higher and more lasting damage and images of damage over time. It is also a grim reality of political warfare that the same charges and edited TV coverage get made regardless of the actual level of combat. The US will need to show it is showing the maximum possible restraint in achieving decisive results; it will have to ask Iraqi troops to take over some attacks on sensitive targets, and it will have to both let Iraqi forces play a visible role and make it clear it will defer to the Iraqi government. Restrain, however, in no ways needs to be paralysis or ineffectiveness.
• The battle outside Fallujah is already critical. The insurgents have shown they can attack effectively outside the city and with the US forces encircling it and exerting nominal control on all males who enter or exit. This weekend, they were particularly effective in showing that a supposedly “retaken” city like Samarra is highly vulnerable and that the Interim Iraqi Government lacks the governance, security forces, and aid capabilities to conduct its own form of “stability” operations. The broader insurgent threat against Iraqi forces and their families may also help explain reports of major desertions among the supposedly elite Iraqi battalions integrated with Marine units. (Although, recruiting the financially desperate and some very poor USMC handling of such troops at the political level has not helped.)
• A follow-on battle after the battle is a major risk for US and Iraqi Interim Government Forces. As has been noted earlier, the insurgents have every incentive not to be destroyed in Fallujah if they can move outside into the rest of Al Anbar province, and the poor performance of the Iraqi government in following up US-led tactical victories, and weak performance of Iraqi military and security forces to date, makes infiltrating back into a post-battle Fallujah an attractive proposition. The same is true of the systematic killing of any Sunni Iraqis who join the election process, aid workers, Iraqi government security
forces, etc. Why stand and die against professional US troops when you can live
and win against weak Iraqi Interim Government officials and security forces? The underlying irony inherent in all of these points is that stability operations and “nation building” will be just as critical in the “battle after the battle” in Fallujah, as in the “war
after the war” in Iraq. At this point, however, the US can only assist the Iraqi Interim Government and the Iraqis. It will be Iraqi politics, governance, economic and aid
activity, and military and security forces that ultimately win or lose.
This is commentary on the situation in Fallujah from a respected journal in India. It's not exactly flattering.
look this is war.
it's never pretty.
many thought this is how the war shoulda been back in 3/03.
we're doing it now though.
and a liberal journalist's view isn't going to helped the ppl of iraq.
I hope it is all over soon. I feel sorry for the civilians trapped inside the city, those who couldn't get away, had nowhere to go, didn't get out on time and are resigned to their fate. My thoughts and prayers are with them, because the insurgents had a choice, and they chose to be there and the the men who joined the Marines had a choice and they joined, but the civilians, the kids there, nobody ever gave them any sort of chance.
It's always the civilians who pay the biggest price in war. Never, ever forget that.
"It is well that war is so terrible— lest we should grow too fond of it." ~ Robert E. Lee
Surely now, the governments that took us to this war and we, as people who are happy to re-elect them, must face up to our culpability for this carnage. We claim to hold that the lives of civilians are sacrosanct. We assert that the fabric of humanity is torn with every death of every innocent civilian. Indeed, that is why terrorism sickens us.
So why do we not think of these deaths as tragic in the same way we do those of September 11, Bali, Madrid or Beslan? For the Iraqis, we will hold no multi-faith services, no commemorative anniversary functions and we will give no human faces to them. Perhaps some innocent lives are more sacrosanct than others.
We are talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. Eight planes and eight towers.
Of course, there is a crucial difference between the civilian deaths caused by terrorism, and those caused by the US-led coalition in Iraq. Coalition forces did not target the innocent as terrorists do.
True, we should not lose sight of this. But we should also not abuse it to dehumanise those we have killed, and evade the responsibility we rightfully bear. We speak of Iraqi civilians, even 100,000 of them, not as victims, but as collateral damage. We did not murder them as terrorists murder their victims, because there was no intention to kill them.
It is simply not good enough to hide our guilt in this way. Our actions were always destined to claim thousands of civilian lives. This was not merely probable; it was certain. We recognised that certainty and pressed on anyway. The fact that killing innocents was not the aim, but rather a guaranteed byproduct of our action, does not absolve us.
Some Reccomended Lures
"Michael Moore is here! Come get his autograph!"
"I got your contact from the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Following this and other investigations resulting in a good recommendation we have decided to contact you to help us with the legal transfer of US$28,600,000."
Thank God we're not in Fallujah
All of the below article is reproduced from today's BBC News website. Say a prayer for this poor guy:
'Watching tragedy engulf my city'
US and Iraqi forces are locked in desperate street battles against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, a journalist in Falluja who reports for the BBC World Service in Arabic.
I am surrounded by thick black smoke and the smell of burning oil.
There was a big explosion a few minutes ago and now I can hear gunfire.
A US armoured vehicle has been parked on the street outside my house in the centre of the city.
From my window, I can see US soldiers moving around on foot near it.
They tried to go from house to house but they kept coming under fire.
Now they are firing back at the houses, at anything that moves. It is war on the streets.
The American troops look like they have given up trying to go into buildings for now and are just trying to control the main roads.
I am sitting here on my own, watching tragedy engulf my city.
Looks like Kabul
I was with some of the Falluja fighters earlier. They looked tired - but their spirits were high and they were singing.
Recently, many Iraqis from other parts of the country have been joining the local men against the Americans.
No one has had much sleep in the past two days of heavy fighting and of course, it is still Ramadan, so no one eats during the day.
I cannot say how many people have been killed but after two days of bombing, this city looks like Kabul.
Large portions of it have been destroyed but it is so dangerous to leave the house that I have not been able to find out more about casualties.
A medical dispensary in the city centre was bombed earlier.
I don't know what has happened to the doctors and patients who were there.
It was last place you could get medical attention because the big hospital on the outskirts of Falluja was captured by the Americans on Monday.
A lot of the mosques have also been bombed.
For the first time in Falluja, a city of 150 mosques, I did not hear a single call to prayer this morning.
I broke my Ramadan fast yesterday with the last of our food - two potatoes and two tomatoes.
The tomatoes were rotten because we have no electricity to run the fridge.
My neighbours - a woman and her children - came to see me yesterday. They asked me to tell the world what is happening here.
I look at the devastation around me and ask - why?
|All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:26 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com