Why snap analysis is a bad idea . . .
Thanks to Alert Reader "tbedilion" (Tod) for pointing out that the NYTimes has just posted a graphic on the location of the hospital. The hospital is located at the bend of the Euphrates River north of the two bridges seized. Go to The New York Times and click on the graphic under the top story. I can't link to it. Also, don't know the scale, but Fallujah looks to be about 15 square miles, and the NW portion to be about a quarter or a fifth of that. This graphic tells me I was off on which two bridges were seized. They are both shooting off the western side of the city. Looks like I had my eye on one of these, but also a railroad bridge earlier. The NYTimes does report though that thousands of US forces are "moving to a point north of Fallujah." The US can use the hospital site to position artillery units to cover a great swath of the NW portion of the city where insurgents are thought to be concentrated. Furthermore, the Main Bridge, the southernmost of the two, is on the major highway that leads right through downtown. We are isolating the northwest portion of the city. A highway is good for us. It is a clear dividing line for our forces to use, it is open, which favors us, and we can traffic freely across it in armored vehicles. Expect that highway to be eventually used as an interior line of communcation. It also intersects with the smaller road that feeds out of the northern bridge. Quick rundown on the urban landscape of major Iraqi cities. They don't have anything like sprawl, as we imagine a city here in the US. There is no strip development. It's almost as though a line is drawn on the deck where the city ends and farmland begins. And up to that line, populations are very dense. So we have two large coaltion forces converging on the northwest part of the city. As reports start to increase, detailing the next stage of this phase, keep in mind that our combat forces can't face each other -- this will cause friendly fire, of course. Instead, if isolating this part of the city and then invading, they'll move at angles, or one will stay in place. Note the title of the graphic, "No Escape to the West." Ahem. I called this about five days ago.