Mar 16, 2006

Operation Swarmer Underway

Operation Swarmer photo courtesy of US Central Command

(Baghdad) Word is coming out of Iraq that the largest air and land campaign since the opening of hostilities in 2003 is happening today.

Called "Operation Swarmer," the operation is aimed at pockets of insurgents southeast of Samarra, and involves 1,500 US and Iraqi troops as well as "50 airborne platforms" dropping GPS-guided munitions.

Samarra was the site of a bombing attack last month on a Shi'ite shrine that set off sectarian reprisals and pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.

"Initial reports from the objective area indicate that a number of enemy weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-(bomb) making materials, and military uniforms," said a statement from US military commanders at Central Command. "The operation is expected to continue for several days as a thorough search of the objective area is conducted."

Operation Swarmer began this morning with soldiers from the Iraqi Army's 1st Brigade, the 101st Airborne Division and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade conducting a combined air and ground assault to isolate the objective area.
Addendum, 1:00 PM: In this photo released by the US military on Thursday March 16, 2006, US helicopters take off from Forward Operating Base Remagen for Operation Swarmer (AP Photo/ Sgt. First Class Antony Joseph, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There! We blew up some stuff. Now don't you all feel like the war is going better?


Stephanie said...

1,500 troops? Is it me, or does that not sound like very many to gain control of an area?

Newsguy said...

Let's not just blow up some STUFF! Let's blow up some civilians, and some children and some women in their burkas. That will win us some hearts and minds. Hell, they're all terrrrrrrrrrrists. Kill 'em all and let Allah sort things out.

M A F said...

Looks like a ittle "shock and awe" campaign to engender more support for the occupation of Iraq!

Or, giving consideration of the previous days story covering comments made by Rice and Bolton that this is a show of force directed at or to cover-up certain unsubstantiated claims put forth by the current administration in association with Iran.

Grey Sells said...

Dateline 3 years ago: "Mission accomplished. Large scale military operations are over in Iraq."

Think people will fall for this caper? Why today? And will they fall for the new PR of the Iranian's interference in Iraq without producing evidence of same?

Subject change as Mr. Bush goes down the tube. There's another bad guy out there. Aren't you scared? See the brave troops fight the baddies. Yeehah!

Don said...

Stephanie, I think you're right, 1500 isn't many troops. However, the "insurgent" modus operandi is to avoid large-scale standup fights against U.S. forces. With armor and air support, 1500 troops can take over a substantial area. Once U.S. forces move to another area, the insurgents re-emerge. It's like a "whack-a-mole" game, but with lots of expensive ordinance.

Stephanie said...

My point was, that to do it right and NOT play "whack-a-mole" they would need more troops. That is, if the goal was actually to secure the area.

Don said...

I'm not sure if it matters if 1,500 troops or 15,000 troops were sent. I think the result would be similar. The rebels/insurgents/whaddeveryawannacallem would do their usual disappearing act. It's their home turf, and they know it well. I don't have any better ideas on how to deal with it. How do you identify enemies who can melt so easily into the non-combatant population? I don't know, but I suspect that larger numbers of troops is not the answer.

Stephanie said...

Sidney Bristow?

Hooda Thunkit said...

One answer to the terrorists (euphemistically called by the sanitized term "insurgents") would be to make Iraq a sea of glass, and we know to make glass from sand...

We wouldn't make many friends, but then real friends don't attack/kill friends, do they.

Rhetorical question:
Wouldn't it have been cheaper for us to have bought Iraq???