US-Iraqi Military Sweep of Baghdad and Anbar Province Is Off and Running – Unannounced

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources in Baghdad report the major crackdown promised by the Bush administration with the help of an extra US troop increment is underway.

The operations in progress are:


  • Large-scale US forces have begun closing off the routes to Baghdad from Ramadi and Falluja in the north, including dirt tracks.

  • Other US contingents are drawing a tight circle around Baghdad. By Friday, the Iraqi capital should be sealed off.

  • Large quantities of state of the art US equipment is being pumped in to Baghdad, such as surveillance balloons, sensors, tanks fitted with infra red night vision instruments and heavy equipment for busting bunkers and fortified positions.

  • Once Baghdad is fully sealed early next week, US and Iraqi troops will spread out inside the city and begin sectioning off the districts for cleansing operations against insurgents, armed militias and terrorists.

  • The other city encircled by US forces is Baqouba, in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

  • The Anbar capital of Ramadi has been taken care of by a pact between the US military and chiefs of the Jabur tribe, the largest in the region, to deny Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda sanctuary, transit through its territory and amenities for arms smuggling. Saudi Arabia has contributed a cash reward for the tribal chiefs’ cooperation.

  • Kurdish forces in the north have begun blocking the highways running south to Baghdad and deployed along the banks of the Tigris River. Kurdish units have stretched an impermeable line from Hanakin through Tuz Khumatu in the east up to the oil town of Kirkuk in the West.

  • South of the capital, Iraqi units with US elements have begun laying Mahmoudiya and Yousefiya to siege.

  • Their assault on these two towns will be synchronized with US forces offensives in Baghdad and Baqouba.

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