Friday, January 26, 2007


North of Baghdad, in Diyala province, our troops and Iraqis have bagged a large number of insurgents:

U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 100 terrorists, detained 50, and dismantled a large terrorist group in January during Operation Turki Bowl, the senior U.S. Army officer in Iraq’s Diyala province said yesterday.

The operation, conducted from Jan. 4 to 13, occurred south of Balad Ruz in the Turki Village, Tuwilla and 30 Tamuz areas of the province. During the operation, U.S. Army and Iraqi soldiers isolated and defeated a terrorist group known as “The Council,” Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, told reporters via satellite connection from a news conference in Iraq.

“The group, made up of former Baath Regime members, al Qaeda and Sunni extremists, refused to participate in any political dialogue and preferred attacking innocent civilians in the Diyala province,” Sutherland said. ...

In addition to defeating the council, troops found 25 weapons caches containing more than 1,150 Katusha rockets and 1,000 rocket-propelled grenades, 170 anti-tank missiles, anti-tank mines, small- and heavy-arms ammunition and sensitive terrorist documents.

In ten days of operations, we took down 150 of them?

They didn't scatter and run? Blend in with the population?

What happened here? Are reports of the Baathist elements of the insurgencies losing hope resulting in operations like this? Did the Baathists just fight when cornered out of just being too tired to run? Or did we effectively isolate the fighters from the civilian "sea" they need to operate in, as the article states? If so, how did we manage that?

This appears to be a very effective operation by American and Iraqi forces. And we've seen others on Haifa Street in Baghdad recently that resulted in heavy enemy casualties.

What is going on? Why are the enemy dying in large numbers lately? And these just aren't operations on the defensive where we kill at high ratios, but operations we initiated with sustained combat. Or are we just hearing about them now? I'm not complaining, mind you, but the why is important.