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When Night falls for Falluja

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Nightfalls for Falluja

Never underestimate the US MARINES

The useless scum fighting the Coalition there WILL DIE


This map http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,121966,00.jpg from the Times of London gives a fair, but dated overview of the fighting in the Fallujah area. It is basically a lower resolution version of Global Security's 1:10,000 aerial photograph of Fallujah http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/wor...allujah-map.htm with an overlay.


If you consider Fallujah a rectangle lying on its side, the map shows the US firmly established in the lower right hand about two thirds of the way up the box and more than halfway right to left. Although the Times map shows the US line still south of Highway 10 (an east-west road that cuts the rectangle in half about two thirds up) as of April 7, the northward march of clashes basically suggests that the Marines now hold the city everywhere south of Highway 10, that is, the lower two thirds of the city right up to the banks of the Euphrates.


It suggests that the enemy is basically confined to the northwest corner neighborhood of 'Golan', a slum area of winding streets. I would guess -- purely guess -- that the Marines hold the southern half of Highway 10 and everything east of the main road which leads up from the Mayor's compound to the northern city wall.


The tactical motivation would be obvious. The Marines, and especially the snipers, would have clear fields of fire across these thoroughfares and use them to cut off the enemy stronghold from the rest of the city both to the east and to the south. To the north the Marines hold the 8-foot high railway embankment, which is about 200 meters parallel to the north city limits.


It was along Highway 10 that the Blackwater contractors were ambushed and their mutilated bodies hung from the Euphrates bridge not far from the 'Golan'. Now that fighting has revealed the enemy numbers and heavy armament actually present in town, it is obvious that the contractors escorting a convoy through Fallujah were as doomed as an enemy patrol entering the gate of Fort Bragg. The decision by the Marines not to rush in and recover the contractor's bodies, for they which they were heavily criticized, now seems absolutely justified in hindsight. Even a company strength unit would have been in serious trouble had they taken the bait.

With this basic layout in mind, we can now understand Darrin Mortensen's account in the North Country Times http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2004/04/25...4_414_24_04.txt .


The Marines must have raided south into the 'Golan' from their positions on the railway embankment and returned north.


The second http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2004/04/27...7_054_26_04.txt , less successful probe which resulted in the heavy engagement of a Marine platoon and the destruction of a mosque minaret was actually about 100 meters inside the city's northern boundary by cross reference to the Times of London map. It is around the northeastern corner of the 'Golan' that the recent fighting, including the AC-130 strikes have taken place.


An article by the New York Post http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/19812.htm describes an engagement near the Fallujah railway station, which should be in the northeast corner of the 'Golan'.


"April 29, 2004 -- Marines, backed up by jet fighters, attack helicopters and an aerial gunship, fought furious battles yesterday with Fallujah terrorists - who used women and children as shields. For the second day, black smoke and flames billowed into the sky and earth-rattling booms shook the Iraqi city as the fighting erupted on three fronts in the Sunni stronghold."


"The clashes began when a Marine sniper unit came under fire from guerrillas unloading weapons from a cache near the train station. The rebels, using women and children as shields, fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the Marines. The troops took fire from three buildings and responded with machine guns, rockets and missiles. Video footage showed a Marine sniper, using a rifle with a long-range scope, firing at targets from behind a barricade. In the afternoon, the Marines called in two helicopters: a Cobra and a Huey gunship to rescue the sniper unit pinned down near the city's train station. After the snipers were extracted, U.S. forces dropped 10 laser-guided bombs, including a 1,000- pounder, against buildings the terrorists were firing from, said Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, a U.S. military spokesman."


We can guess that the "snipers" were possibly USMC designated marksmen positioned south of the train station, between the rail line and the city, engaging the enemy on the northern city wall. The use of civilian human shields shows there are still significant numbers of noncombatants in the area and the removal of the weapons from a cache on the northern wall suggests they are repositioning weapons into a central redoubt deeper into the neighborhood. Although the hard core of resistance is penned up in the northwest corner, large areas of the city may harbor stragglers. The joint Marine-Iraqi police patrols will probably patrol the neighborhoods behind the forward USMC positions to establish Iraqi Governing Council control over these areas.


If my map analysis is right it reveals an astonishing success by the USMC. The enemy is now largely in a square about 2,000 meters on each side, with the river to one side and the open railway area to the other, facing the city streets both south and east. On the other hand, the enemy has been compressed to the point where a further advance becomes very dangerous. The Associated Press http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/democrat/ne.../printstory.jsp describes the neighborhood which the Marines must now take in order complete the job.


In the ancient slum at Fallujah's heart, Marines rely on high-tech equipment, night vision and the fearsome AC-130 gunship. But their Sunni foes have their own advantages - the labyrinth of alleyways that offer deadly ambush sites shielded by a civilian population. The Golan slum, home to some 40,000 people, has seen three days of intense combat, with Marines fighting mainly from the air with precision weapons. If they enter in force, it will mean deadly urban warfare. U.S. forces are so concerned that when Marines begin moving through Fallujah on patrols with U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces on Friday, they will skip Golan.


Golan - named after the strategic Golan Heights that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 war - is the oldest part of Fallujah, its tight alleyways and old, ramshackle houses pressed between railroad tracks and the muddy Euphrates River. An estimated one-third of Fallujah's 200,000 people have fled the siege this month, but not many from Golan. Most are too poor to afford alternative housing.


Marines say Sunni Muslim guerrillas are also concentrated in that part of the city, and a key concern is to avoid harming civilians wedged in the middle. Troops on the northern fringe of the neighborhood stare down fighters just a street away. A satellite photo of Fallujah shows a city with wide roads, neatly-organized blocks of houses and open spaces, and in the northeast corner Golan, a knot of streets too narrow for tanks and heavy armor. To fight the insurgents but keep casualties down, U.S. forces have turned to the air, using laser-guided bombs and other munitions to hammer at insurgents holed up in buildings.


The urban terrain from the ground will look something like this http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=...20for%2520Jenin --- is a link to photos taken at Jenin but it should be somewhat representative of the kind of construction and the crazy angles that Marines may have to deal with.


The final reduction of 'Golan' may not be long in coming. The Associated Press, in an article entitled Marines Prepare for Fallujah Pull Back http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/stor...4033902,00.html reports:


"Marines in Fallujah began packing up gear and loading heavy trucks Thursday, saying they had been ordered to leave the southern industrial zone that they have held for weeks and pull away from the city. It was not immediately known if the move represented a withdrawal of Marines from their siege of the city or if other Marine forces were being rotated in to replace the withdrawing 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment."


Those readers who have been following the map so far will immediately recognize that the southern industrial zone has been in the Marine rear for weeks. This "withdrawal" could just as well be a redeployment of units to the northern boundary of the city or preparation for a cross-river assault. But it might be a real withdrawal all the same for there are real dangers to assaulting the 'Golan'. The defended area is now small enough for the enemy to have turned it into a wonderland of explosive devices. The fairly light construction of homes within the slum means the walls are principally an obstruction to sight rather than to fragments and bullets. Combat in 'Golan' will be like a shootout in a cardboard maze. Enemy machinegunners can fire through walls or blast fragments right across fragile homes at advancing Marines.


But the physical fragility of the enemy redoubt may perhaps is the single reason the USMC might not need to assault the area at all, except in its most final, weakened stages. The battle for this urban maze will be largely a battle for line of sight as it probably has been from the beginning. The press reportage of USMC sniper-spotter teams has mentioned but not emphasized the fact that they possess imaging devices, comms and computers (and probably range finders) apart from their rifles. Their most damaging function has perhaps not been shooting (although that has been bad enough) as much as observation.


One can almost imagine enemy movements being correlated from several observers onto a very detailed intel map. The physical characteristics of Fallujah, but especially the lightly built 'Golan' means that enemy safety depends utterly on visual concealment, not reinforced concrete fortification. Once an enemy position is known, it is extremely vulnerable to high angle downward attack. There is nothing between a Jihadi unit and an AC-130's Gatling guns except a sheet of galvanized iron roofing: he is dead once his position is known. I will venture to speculate that a subsidiary goal of the limited air strikes has been to open fields of view to observers.


That fact makes it very desirable for the US to encourage surrenders, both civilian and otherwise, because of the information they can provide, besides getting them out of the way. This goes a long way toward explaining why the Jihadis have chosen to keep their wounded in the fetid confines of the slum rather than allow them to be treated in a Fallujah hospital. They fear what may be revealed under questioning. But the dynamics of the siege mean that US will continue to gain the upper hand until a breaking point is reached. In a struggle in which visual information is paramount, the US will continue to throw a curtain of blackness over the enemy even as it enhances its own acuity.


As the batteries of the enemy night vision equipment and radios drain out or are lost, the defense will grow ever more blind. The moon will begin to wane in 10 days and the hopes of the Jihadis with it.





(not a better friend----- or worse enemy) your choice !!

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Texas Gentleman,

That was a good read.

I see Aljazeera spins the "withdraw" differently though. Nothing new of course,

but what of the 1,100 Iraqi soldiers that make up the Fallujia Protection Army ? They

are being led by the- so called- former officer of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard Jasim Muhammad Salih,


from the article link;


Jasim Muhammad Salih

wearing his old army uniform entered the town centre and gave a speech on Friday.The former officer said he was forming a military unit to restore calm to the bloodied Iraqi city of Falluja after an agreement with US occupation forces.




Salih, who a relative said had been chief of staff of a Republican Guard brigade, said the force would help Iraqi security forces bring order to the town, so US forces would not be needed.


He did not say who would make up the unit.




On National public radio last week I heard interviews being given by former Iraqi generals.

They mentioned they had no intention of "crossing over" into the new Iraqi army structure.

...of course, they were not asked either. I suppose they lost their pensions and prefer to sit around drinking tea.

They did comment on the "generals" that do make up the new Iraqi army.

They feel the new generals were inept under Saddam and were never high acheivers.


Well there you have it. There is no longer the old republican guard "glass ceiling" in place.


But just how low ranking of a general is this

Jasim Muhammad Salih ? Now ,

a relative states he had been chief of staff of a Republican Guard brigade.


But maybe that is just his cousin looking for a job opening or insuring the population of Fallujia this general represents their own interests.


Does anybody know anything about this general of

...some sort of ?

...National guard type unit ?




This is a big step if these 1,100 soldiers attempt to calm the population.

But my understanding is that Fallujia has Always been a place of unrest...even with Saddam in control.



how did the Sunni Imams influence the population to respond to this redeployment situation ?

I suppose there are no bloggers in the Sunni triangle?

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From the blogger Back to Iraq 3.0

A photo at the link

dated;April 30, 2004


Meet Gen. Saleh

A correction on an earlier post. The “Gen. Salah” taking over the FPA is now being reported as Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh, a former Republican Guard and commander of Saddam’s infantry. He arrived in Fallujah today wearing his old uniform to the cheers of bystanders.


“We have now begun forming a new emergency military force,” he told Reuters, saying people in Falluja “rejected” US troops.


Somewhat alarmingly, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a U.S. military spokesman, offered no details about Saleh’s background but said the Marines had screened the former general and had full confidence in him. Officials of the U.S.-led coalition also said they had not information on Salah’s history. But details emerged from other media outlets.


He’s a former Ba’athist, but all members of the Army were required to be in the party. He was a former chief-of-staff for a Republican Guard brigade in the late 1980s and later commanded the 38th Infantry Division. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says he was then promoted to head all of the Iraqi army’s infantry forces.


His last posting was as a division commander in the al-Quds (Jerusalem) army, which was initially founded to liberate Jerusalem but grew into a vast paramilitary force. He spent the last year assigned to a military base in Ramadi, just west of Fallujah.


Saleh is a Fallujah native and belongs to the Mohammadi tribe, the town’s largest, and is a close relative of the tribe’s leader. Fallujah natives reached in neighboring Jordan confirmed Saleh is a well-known figure in the clan, according to the P-I.


He was apparently well-liked by his men, but never rose in the Ba’ath Party ranks and never was seen as very political.


Still, some Marines aren’t happy about the pullback and the transfer of command to Saleh, who will still report to American military authorities.


“It’s a mistake. People have lost lives in Falluja and now they die for nothing. But we have to give the Iraqis the chance to prove they can do it by themselves and we can still go back if it doesn’t work,” said Corporal Clint Burfort from Iowa.


Also, at least one member of the Governing Council was displeased:

Mahmoud Othman, a Kurd on the US-appointed Governing Council, said it was worthwhile to end fighting. But he added: “It’s not a good precedent … As usual, the Americans, without consulting anyone at all, have gone ahead with a policy to replace an earlier, failed policy … I’m not crazy about coming back to make a deal with someone from the Republican Guard.”
Neither are a lot of people, but it if ends the killing in Fallujah, then it should be considered. I just hope they thoroughly vetted this guy.


Posted by Christopher at ...





Not sure they are making a deal with the devil sending him back into his tribal hometown. Does he go in with "a score to settle" mentality ?

Isn't that a tribal custom or maybe since he wasn't much for Baath politics,that will be below him.


Was he the six of Hearts of Iraqi Most Wanted card deck ?





I just checked my calendar....only a few hours until May.


Something has to be done to protect the rights of the minority.

Someone has to read and instruct them of their rights.


Give this guy a chance while the CPA or governing council argue about what should be done.

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Guest Guest




Three Shia members of GC denounced the recruiting of Republican gaurds officers for the Faluoja crises.. They said that some of these officers were being involved in the 91 crashing of the Iraqi cities .. The question is , Did the Americans do a security /criminal clearance on these officers? If so, are the Iraqis and GC aware about such clearance?

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Some funny thing about the new Falouja miltia .. The libral media cover their news with encouraging tone.. They keep calling them Iraqi Army.. Though they are not part of the official Iraqi Army. The coverage high light the wellcome to militia by some Falouja Al-Mouhamed trib members, while ignoring the fact that their leaders might be involved in crimes against humanity during Saddams's era.

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Foreign fighters in unstable Fallujah


This report from Mitchell Prothero describes what an Iraqi UPI reporter saw in the 'Golan'. http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040503-110300-1693r

(excerpts below with comments);


While U.S. Marine commanders are hopeful that patrols of local fighters will bring peace to Fallujah, -- a city wracked by anti-coalition activity since the arrival of U.S. forces a year ago -- a situation of even greater concern appears to be lurking; an entire neighborhood seems to be completely under the control of foreign Islamic fighters, mostly from Syria.


An Iraqi employee of United Press International entered Fallujah on Saturday with a source who serves as a mid-level official in the Army of Mohammed, the umbrella group of Iraqi resistance opposing the U.S. occupation. The source had agreed to help arrange a tour of the city and interviews with civilians and resistance fighters by a UPI reporter for the following day.


They entered the city using a route that passed a new Fallujah Protective Army checkpoint, which waved them into the center of the city without even a cursory search. After the local guide liaised with Iraqi fighters in Fallujah, the pair was given permission to travel to the city and was supplied with three armed guards from the Army of Mohammed while they attempted to identify damaged parts of the city and arrange interviews. Upon their arrival in the Golan neighborhood in the northern portion of the city, where much of the fighting has taken place, a group of fighters speaking with Syrian accents approached and ordered the resistance fighters to leave and took the two men into custody. ...


Osama (the UPI reporter) said at least 10 Syrians were in the compound he was held in and estimates that far more were hidden in various fortifications around the area.


A COMMENT --- This report strongly suggests that 1) a large pocket of the enemy is still inside or contained in Fallujah; 2) this pocket may be called the 'Golan' and is in the nothern section of the city; 3) there may be large numbers of Syrian fighters in the 'Golan'. It is implies that the Fallujah brigade is not very careful in discharging its duties or is complicit to some degree with the enemy. The report continues:


"And the top officer for the U.S. Marines in the area used a weekend press conference to dispute reports that the Marines would withdraw from Fallujah and turn local security over to the new unit. The initial reports to that effect came from embedded reporters and eyewitness accounts of Marines pulling back from their positions in Fallujah and turning over several checkpoints to the FPA.


"We have chosen not to commingle U.S. and Iraqi units, and that has prompted some realignment of Marine forces," Lt. Gen. James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said Saturday. "In fact, we have assigned the Iraqi battalion to our least-engaged sector until they can get their feet on deck, absorb the weapons and equipment we are passing their way, and prepare for the next phase of the operation."


COMMENT -- This is a categorical denial that the USMC has left Fallujah. General Conway's claim to have turned over "several checkpoints" to the Fallujah Brigade is consistent with the UPI reporters firsthand observation. Conway's assertion that the USMC is still in the city receives implicit support from the fact that the Syrian fighters were still "hidden in fortifications around the area" -- i.e. the 'Golan', something they would not do unless the USMC were present, seeing as they would have little to fear from the Fallujah Brigade in its present condition. The last part of the UPI report is interesting:


Conway said the decision to incorporate local fighters -- some of whom undoubtedly had recently been fighting the U.S. forces -- stemmed from a need to co-opt Iraqis frustrated by the occupation from the most committed anti-coalition fighters.


"It got at what was essentially at that point our operational objective, which was to separate out the hard-core insurgents and freedom fighters from the other citizens of the city that may well have taken up weapons against us, based upon the fact that they thought they were defending their city, based upon the call of the imams and those types of things," Conway said.


COMMENT -- Taken at its face value, Conway's statement implies that the USMC appreciates that the enemy consists of an alliance -- something also corroborated by the UPI reporter, who speaks of the "Army of Mohammed", described an "umbrella group" -- and that the explicit goal of the Marines is to drive a wedge between the hard-core and peripheral elements. In General Conway's words: "to separate out the hard-core insurgents and freedom fighters from the other citizens of the city that may well have taken up weapons against us, based upon the fact that they thought they were defending their city".


To recapitulate, the main points are:


- the enemy is probably still in the city

- the enemy may consist, in part, of Syrian fighters

- the USMC is probably still bottling them up otherwise how to account for the enemy containment, and is therefore present in the city, contrary to press reports

-- the USMC is attempting to drive a wedge, as per General Conway, between the hard core and the peripheral enemy elements.


Although this information is too limited to make wide-ranging predictions, we may use it to adjust (to changing conditions) our degree of belief in the following propositions.


-- the USMC has 'capitulated' to the enemy, turned tail and run? --


I think that proposition, driven by recent press reports, is less likely based on the UPI reporter's observations.


-- the US command is clueless as to how to respond to the current crisis? --


The Marines may be wrong in their appreciation of the enemy, but they are clearly working on the basis of a plan. Whether it will succeed or not remains to be seen.


-- an assault on the 'Golan' is imminent.? --


I think that likelihood is diminished by the new information. The enemy is dug in and commingled with the population. The whole point of the Fallujah Brigade seems to separate out the hard core Jihadis from the local population so as to widen the range of Marine military options. Such is the intent. Only time will tell if the plan will work.


None of the information provided by the UPI report bears on the wider, strategic decisions of the war. It says next to nothing about Sunni versus Shia, CPA versus Iraqi Governing Council or the role of Iran. However, it does suggest that there may be a Syrian hand in the recent fighting, or in the words of US officials, Syria has "not been helpful".


Jassim Mohammed Saleh?


Now Marines have changed the overall commander (Jassim Mohammed Saleh) of a group of former Iraqi soldiers charged with restoring order in Fallujah. The move appears aimed at defusing a growing controversy over the former army general initially selected to lead the unit.


An official said Jassim Mohammed Saleh, a former army division commander who served in then-President Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard, would no longer be the overall leader of the new Fallujah Brigade. Instead, he would only help lead one of the three battalions that will form the brigade, the official said.


This brigade most likely will be led by Mohammed Latif, a former intelligence officer who was expelled from the country by Hussein's government. This of course, will be dependent upon him being vetted of any previous criminal actiivities commited toward anyIraqi's. It should be obvious that Iraq has NO military officers WHO did not serve during Saddams rule making it DIFFICULT to find an IRAQI to head YOUR Military. Any suggestions?

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A Scott Peterson report in the Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0505/p06s01-woiq.html describing events in Fallujah's northern boundary -- the railway embankment. ( a must read )



At the Fallujah railway station Tuesday - a flash point of insurgent fighting until a few days ago - the company commander received 30 Iraqi troops, members of the Iraq Civil Defense Corps (ICDC), to man the position jointly. The preplanned deal was finalized as Captain Stevenson and his Iraqi counterpart sat on a dust-covered marble bench in the station's waiting room.


"Outstanding," Stevenson told his counterpart as he heard the plan for controlling the main railway building. Marines would keep gun emplacements on either flank, a step toward handing Iraqis security control of Fallujah. By nightfall, those ICDC soldiers were patroling by foot along the main road in front of the station. ...


On trial now are plans to put Iraqi forces - in one case, elements of former Iraqi units, led by a Hussein-era general - in control, as the US Marines shift back their positions, maintaining the cordon only in Fallujah's troubled northwest sector. US commandershope that the new force can bring calm to a city that has been in turmoil since the killing of four US security contractors March 31 prompted US offensive operations. ...


The marines say they will wait and see. Though reports from journalists in Fallujah Tuesday indicated that insurgents - ubiquitous recently as they celebrated the Marine pullback - are now barely visible, few think they are gone.


The message broadcast from mosques is also becoming more favorable, despite initial declarations of victory over US forces. Marines say recent messages are: "Return to your homes, don't take up arms, the fight is over."


COMMENTS -- Interestingly enough, the unit being deployed in the Monitor story is the maligned Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, not the Fallujah Brigade, whose position on the embankment now makes any attack against the northwestern 'Golan' neighborhood very unlikely, since any assault would have go through the ICDC lines. The impression conveyed is that the cordon around 'Golan' is now very loose. The Washington Times reports that any senior foreign fighters have probably escaped the net already although the Monitor and the Mitchell Prothero Associated Press report above suggests that there are still plenty of "foreign fighters" left.


(Wash Times excerpt) http://washingtontimes.com/national/200405...12742-8123r.htm


“A military source said if international terrorist Abu Musaab Zarqawi was ever in Fallujah, as was suspected, he was able to escape. The source said although the Marines blocked roads leading out of the town of 300,000 residents, the cordoning was not "airtight." He said the assessment that senior fighters have left Fallujah is based on intelligence reports. "The problem is they don't know where they have gone," the source said.”


COMMENTS -- The friendly waves and conciliatory messages being broadcast from mosques -- in addition to the reappearance of the ICDC -- may mean that at least one of General Conway's operational objectives has been met. He planned to drive a wedge between the hard core enemy and the regular citizens, to separate anti-coalition forces from the idea of an insurgency. Conway was quoted by the Prothero report as saying:


"It got at what was essentially at that point our operational objective, which was to separate out the hard-core insurgents and freedom fighters from the other citizens of the city that may well have taken up weapons against us, based upon the fact that they thought they were defending their city, based upon the call of the imams and those types of things," Conway said.


This would restore mobility to the battlefield since operations against the enemy can now take the form of raids against selected targets instead of the seizing and holding entire city blocks. From this stage onward, operations in Fallujah can no longer be understood in terms of linear operations. How successful this will be remains to be seen, but it is fair to say that the enemy can no longer regard Fallujah as an inviolable sanctuary.

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all the above analysis I have provided for the topic "When Night Falls for Fallujah" is my abreviated copy taken from "THE BELMONT CLUB" found here;



it occured to me that I had not given this link and some might think this is MY anaylisis,,,, it is not. However I have been impressed with how their analysis has played out, often predicting accurately the outcomes of various MILITARY operations ongoing in Fallujah.



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Guest Guest_Tajer
It should be obvious that Iraq has NO military officers WHO did not serve during Saddams rule making it DIFFICULT to find an IRAQI to head YOUR Military. Any suggestions?


There is also no minister in the current cabinate who didn't serve during Saddam regime.. The question is , Shall I bring Alsahaf or Hamadi as a minister?


There are hundereds of Falluja officers who were not in the rebuplican gaurds. Some of them were fighting against Saddam..Why this one?

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There are hundereds of Falluja officers who were not in the rebuplican gaurds. Some of them were fighting against Saddam..Why this one?



the money quotes from below article:


"They didn't come asking for money or anything else, just a chance to serve their nation," Coleman said. "They had been sitting on the sidelines too long, we hadn't given them the opportunity to come forward before.""But they heard our message ... They came forward saying they can deliver certain things,"


Coleman said the newly formed Fallujah Brigade was an initiative of former Iraqi officers.



excerpt from article @



The Iraqi force of up to 1,100 is to be led by one of Saddam Hussein's former generals. Many of the fighters are former soldiers and the force includes several who are believed to have fought against the Marines.


"If some of those individuals have now decided there is an alternative way ... then all the better," said Col. John Coleman, chief of staff for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the western Anbar province that includes Fallujah.


Coleman, speaking at the Marine camp a few miles from the center of Fallujah, said that Marines were monitoring the progress of the force. "We are measuring the reality on the ground, we assigned them, we monitor them," he said.


Coleman would not discuss military activities in Fallujah but said "there is a percentage of (the city) where normalcy has returned," he said.


Coleman said the newly formed Fallujah Brigade was an initiative of former Iraqi officers.


"They didn't come asking for money or anything else, just a chance to serve their nation," Coleman said. "They had been sitting on the sidelines too long, we hadn't given them the opportunity to come forward before.""But they heard our message ... They came forward saying they can deliver certain things," he added.


U.S. military authorities struck an agreement to end the fighting, which included the deployment of the new force. U.S. commanders had been extremely reticent to storm the city, fearing casualties on the both sides and inflaming public opinion in Iraq, where many regarded the gunmen in Fallujah as heroes for holding off the Marines.


Marine commanders and liaison teams have been meeting Fallujah Brigade leaders in what Coleman described as "a military discussion among military men about a military mission."


Coleman also said he met with Maj. Gen. Mohammed Abdul-Latif — the Iraqi general likely to take command of the Fallujah Brigade — who has been in the city in the past days.


Abdul-Latif is a former military intelligence officer who was imprisoned by Saddam.

Abdul-Latif "has good leadership qualities," Coleman said. "I know enough of his current activity to know that he is a man of his word and delivers what he says and I know enough of his background to know that he was not in favor of the things that went on this country before."


"He spent time in prison here and was exiled because he didn't approve of the way the country was run," Coleman said. "That's about all I personally know and that's enough for me, measured against his current words and deeds."


Jassim Mohammed Saleh, a former officer in Saddam's elite Republican Guard, had earlier been identified as head of the force, but apparently his ties to the former regime led to his being replaced.


Coleman said that Saleh will be a member of the Fallujah Brigade.


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It should be obvious that Iraq has NO military officers WHO did not serve during Saddams rule making it DIFFICULT to find an IRAQI to head YOUR Military. Any suggestions?


There is also no minister in the current cabinate who didn't serve during Saddam regime.. The question is , Shall I bring Alsahaf or Hamadi as a minister?



I misspoke and was misleading about "heading YOUR military" YOU already have a provisional DEFENCE Minister I think?, ...... what I intended to say was head THE MILITARY UNIT ( Fallujah Brigade ) that volunteered to put down the insurection in Fallujah, provide security protection for its citizens and pursue the insurgents causing havoc. I salute them for that, but rest assured the Marines will watch them closely to be sure of their intentions.

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