CHESTER HAS MOVED!: November 6th Operations Update

Saturday, November 06, 2004

November 6th Operations Update

I'm writing this at 12:30pm central time. Today's Fallujah-Ramadi Operations Updatehas been published. The actions detailed are consistent with Phase One, Shaping the Battlespace. No mention yet of a ground assault.


Blogger donherion said...

I have an alternate strategy. Our goal in Iraq is strategic not tactical. Establish a representative government in Iraq with a semi-professional military to maintain general order. I frankly don't see the point in going into Falluja. Yes, we'll kill a bunch of bad guys but my guess is a lot will melt away to fight again.

I would rather we adopted a strategy similar to the one used by Nimitz/MacArthur in the Pacific. Island hopping and bypassing key Jap bases like Rabaul, Truk, etc. reduced the length of the war and kept our casualties down. We can do the same thing here.

Cut off Falluja from the rest of Iraq. No one goes in or out without being searched. Foreigners (young men) who come out are arrested and held until next summer as illegals. Do the same to Sammara and Ramadi if necessary. I would guess half the insurgents in Iraq are in those 3 self-made prisons. Use air strikes to attrite them over the next few months.

If the people in those cities want to vote next January, they can come out and vote . Then next summer let the Iraqi army go into each town and clean them up one by one with U.S. air power and artillery to back them up.

Questions or comments appreciated.

November 6, 2004 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger schutzhund said...

from a Marine outside Fallujah:

November 7, 2004 at 4:45 AM  
Blogger schutzhund said...

same Marine actual link:

November 7, 2004 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger schutzhund said...

November 7, 2004
Release A041107a

Fallujah-Ramadi operations update

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Iraqi Security Forces and the I Marine Expeditionary Force continue to degrade and disrupt anti-Iraqi forces in the Fallujah-Ramadi area. I Marine Expeditionary Force employed U.S. Marine Corps aviation assets to deliver precision munitions to destroy preplanned targets in Fallujah.

In the last 24 hours, I Marine Expeditionary Force conducted coordinated offensive operations in and around the Fallujah-Ramadi area. I MEF destroyed several weapons caches.

At 4:10 a.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 6 a.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 10:45 p.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 10:55 p.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 11 p.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 11:30 p.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target. At 11:55 p.m., Nov. 6, a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, supporting a U.S. Marine Corps element, destroyed a weapons cache, which was a preplanned target.

I Marine Expeditionary Force is determined to return the Fallujah-Ramadi area to the peaceful people of Iraq.

November 7, 2004 at 4:56 AM  
Blogger schutzhund said...

Also see below:
Prayers and Tears in Falluja •

Go to Original

Military Hospital Preparing for Fallujah Battle
By Tom Lasseter
Knight Ridder Tribune News

Friday 05 November 2004

Marines say the toll is expected to rival those seen in Vietnam War.
With U.S. Forces near Fallujah - The number of dead and wounded from the expected battle to retake insurgent-controlled Fallujah probably will reach levels not seen since Vietnam, a senior surgeon at the Marine camp outside Fallujah said Thursday.

Navy Cmdr. Lach Noyes said the camp's hospital is preparing to handle 25 severely injured soldiers a day, not counting walking wounded and the dead.

The hospital has added two operating rooms, doubled its supplies, added a mortuary and stocked up on blood reserves. Doctors have set up a system of ambulance vehicles that will rush to the camp's gate to receive the dead and wounded so units can return to battle quickly.

The plans underscore the ferocity of the fight the U.S. military expects in Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city about 35 miles west of Baghdad, which has been under insurgent control since April.

On Thursday, U.S. troops pounded Fallujah with airstrikes and artillery fire, softening up militants ahead of the expected assault.

Loudspeakers at Fallujah mosques blared out Quranic verses and shouts of "Allahu akbar," or "God is great," during the assault, residents said.

American aircraft blasted militant positions in northeastern and southeastern parts of the city, the military said. U.S. batteries later fired two to three dozen heavy artillery shells at insurgent positions, the military said.

U.S. forces have been building up outside Fallujah for weeks in preparation for taking the city back.

Military officials say they expect U.S. troops to encounter not just fighters wielding AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, but also heavy concentrations of mines, roadside bombs and possibly car bombs.

"We'll probably just see those in a lot better concentration in the city," said Maj. Jim West, an intelligence officer with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

West said he thinks there are some 4,000 to 5,000 fighters between Fallujah and nearby Ramadi, and they may try to draw troops into cramped urban areas in Fallujah that have been booby-trapped.

More than 1,120 U.S. soldiers and Marines have died in Iraq since the war began.

The deadliest month was April, when fierce fighting killed 126 U.S. troops, largely at Fallujah and Ramadi, before a cease-fire virtually turned Fallujah over to the insurgents.

Even then, the death toll was far below the worst month of Vietnam, April 1969, when the U.S. death toll was 543 at the height of American involvement there.

The toll in human suffering has already been grave.

Staff Sgt. Jason Benedict was on a convoy heading to the Fallujah camp Saturday when a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into the truck Benedict and his platoon mates were traveling in.

A few minutes later, mortars and rifle fire rained down on the survivors.

As he rolled toward the safety of a ditch, Benedict saw one of his friends crawling on all fours, with blood pouring from his face.

"You've got to expect casualties," said Benedict, 28. The fight for Fallujah, he said, "is overdue."


Go to Original

Prayers and Tears in Falluja

Saturday 06 November 2004

The Iraqi city of Falluja is braced for an assault by US forces massed on its outskirts.

The BBC News website spoke by phone to a reporter in Falluja, who described how people left in the city live on through siege and bombardment. He is not named for security reasons.

"When I hear bombs falling around my neighbourhood, I keep thinking - any moment now, I could be killed.

It is worst during the night, when the bombardment is most intense.

If a big bomb lands somewhere nearby, you often hear crying and wailing afterwards.

It is a very strange feeling because in between the screaming, there is the sound of more missiles flying.

That is when I think - I could be next.

Another sound you hear during the bombing is that of prayers. People pray loudly because they are so scared.

Sometimes, you hear people say quite unusual things - they improvise, making up their own prayers.

US Election

We followed the US elections very closely from Falluja.

It was a matter of life and death. Many people were hoping John Kerry would win because they felt he would not have allowed our city to be attacked like this.

Of course, we also know that the US policy in Iraq at large is not going to change. We do not forget that George Bush and John Kerry are two sides of the same coin.

Still, as far as our city is concerned right now, a Kerry victory would have brought some hope.

Roads Blocked

I left my old house in the north of the city a month ago, when the Americans began bombing that area all the time.

Now I live with a small group of friends near the centre of Falluja.

We are just men here. All our wives and children have left the city - some we sent to Baghdad, others to quieter areas closer by.

We cook and eat together and spend most of our time in the house.

If you want to leave the house, the safest time to do so is between seven in the morning and one in the afternoon, when the Americans take a break from the bombing.

The souk [market] in the centre of Falluja is open from morning to midday and, fortunately, it has not run out of food so far.

But I can't see how long the supplies will last - two days ago, the government said it was cutting off the roads from Falluja to Baghdad and Ramadi.

I don't know what we will eat then.

I guess we might still be able to grab hold of some meat - I've seen a lot of goats in the city.

There is only one road out of the city that is still open now - but it runs through a checkpoint manned by US soldiers.

We think they're going to cut this route off quite soon as well.


A lot of people have left Falluja. Mostly only men remain.

This used to be a city of 500,000 people.

Now, my guess is there are about 100,000 still here.

Some people who tried to leave earlier on found they had to come back because there was no way of surviving away from their homes.

Iraq is a difficult place to live at the moment. There are not many opportunities.

The hospitals I have seen are full of people but empty of supplies and medicine. The erratic electricity also makes operating difficult.

Ten to 18 new cases are brought in every day.

The injured know they won't get much treatment. They come just to be near the doctor, to hear the doctor talk to them."

November 7, 2004 at 5:06 AM  
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