Back online . . . Updates . . .
Banker by day, blogger by night . . . and lunch. 4000 strong Coalition forces now moving into the NE Askari neighborhood -- no word on what unit. US Marine forces were paused at train station north of town while awaiting indirect fire and air-delivered fires, but have now moved into Jolan. Borders with Syria and Jordan sealed . . . Baghdad Int'l Airport closed for 48 hours. "Before the main assault, Allawi visited the main U.S. base outside Fallujah to rally Iraqi troops. 'The people of Fallujah have been taken hostage ... and you need to free them from their grip,' he told the soldiers at the camp, who swarmed around him when he arrived. 'Your job is to arrest the killers but if you kill them, then so be it.' 'May they go to hell!' the soldiers shouted, and Allawi replied: 'To hell they will go.'" Just heard report from embed with Army battalion on Fox news. Soldiers used M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC) to clear approach routes of IEDs and booby traps. Stated at least 5 had been successfully mitigated and the route was used with no casualties. Look for reports that the APOBS Breaching Weapon has also been used. So we're calling this 'Phantom Fury' . Good enough for me. Note that I MEF has operational command of all that is happening. Note that 1st Mar Div is mentioned, rather than a regiment. Seems like a reach to use all of 1st Mar Div . . . who minding the store in Ramadi, Habbaniyah, Al Qaim, etc? Sticking to prediction of regimental (reinforced) sized Marine force, but now with regimental sized Iraqi and US Army forces too.