June 20, 2007

Arrowhead Ripper: In Your Face

MNF-I released comments this morning regarding the opening day of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, targeting al Qaeda elements in Baquba, capitol of Iraq's Diyala Province.

The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division launched the offensive with a quick-strike night air assault early Tuesday morning.

"The end state is to destroy the al-Qaeda influences in this province and eliminate their threat against the people," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, deputy commanding general of operations for the 25th Infantry Division. "That is the number one, bottom-line, up-front, in-your-face task and purpose."

About 10,000 Soldiers, with a full complement of attack helicopters, close-air support, Strykers and Bradley fighting vehicles, are taking part in Arrowhead Ripper, which is still in its opening stages. Elements of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade are also participating in the operation.

The MNF-I release claims 22 terrorists killed; VOA News now puts the count at 30, while Earthtimes says 13 other suspect members of al Qaeda were captured, along with weapons caches and roadside bombs.

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army also engaged al Qaeda targets in Baquba, killing four suspected terrorists and capturing two more.

One U.S. soldier has been killed and two have been injured thus far in the operation.

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I'd remind readers that this operation, just underway, will no doubt result in an attempt by al Qaeda propagandists and journalists with questionable sources to allege war crimes, as similar debunked charges were brought up during and after the battle of Fallujah.

Some ersatz media sites sympathetic to jihadists are still running these already debunked claims, and will no doubt attempt to recycle these claims for Operation Arrowhead Ripper (Gee, do the pictures of bodies linked here look familiar to those in the UrukNet photos? They've mysteriously transformed from the bodies of innocent victims of white phosphorus "poison gas" to being victims of napalm or Mark 77 firebombs, even though none were used in Fallujah).

As a side note, white phosphorus has already been used in a screening agent for American forces to move behind and through to avoid enemy fire, which is one of its primary battlefield uses.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 20, 2007 08:36 AM