Thursday, November 15, 2007

Al Qaeda gets Clobbered in Tarmiyah 
The Long War Journal is reporting a significant engagement in Iraq:

The battle was initiated after soldiers spotted fighters and called in close air support to attack. The al Qaeda teams engaged the Coalition aircraft with anti-aircraft weapons before moving to a secondary fighting position and then other buildings. Also uncovered at one of the sites was “two substantially large weapons caches” which “included numerous anti-aircraft machine guns, surface-to-surface missiles, rifles, pistols, grenades, mortar rounds and artillery shells. Coalition forces also found a large quantity of ammunition and components used to manufacture improvised explosive devices.” No Coalition casualties were reported.

This is the real deal, folks. Run-of-the-mill loser insurgents don't normally have anti-aircraft weapons and surface-to-surface munitions to pop off.

The superb Bill Roggio tries to read the tea leaves:

During the hunt for Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the Task Force fought frequent, large-scale engagements in the Yusafiyah, Samarra, and Baqubah regions before Zarqawi was finally found in Baqubah and killed in an airstrike. One of the features of these engagements was encountering al Qaeda anti-aircraft teams, which were assigned to protect the senior leaders from Coalition air support. Another feature was the steady stream of al Qaeda leaders and operatives close to Zarqawi who were killed or captured during a short period of time.

Along with the killing of Tha’ir Malik, the Task Force captured Yasin Turki Mahmud Slaih and Marwan ‘Abdullah Ahmad ‘Abd, two members of al Masri’s personal security detachment. Both of al Masri’s bodyguards were captured near Tarmiyah. Forty-five senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders were killed or captured in October alone.

Seems like someone staged a narrow escape.

Splash, out


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