A commentary discussing the Musalaha (Reconciliation) program and its success in Balad.
A Corps offensive to prevent al Qaeda, Sunni, and Shi’a insurgent elements from reconstituting their forces in Baghdad, its belts, or elsewhere.
The northeastern belt runs from the Tarmiyah area in the Tigris River Valley, east through Khalis and Baqubah and south to Nahrawan east of Baghdad. It controls the road networks that link Baghdad with the eastern shore of the Tigris River Valley, as well the Diyala River Valley and a key border crossing with Iran. Consequently, both al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Jaysh al-Mahdi, and associated Iranian-backed Special Groups have competed to control the area.
A division-level operation to clear Baqubah and the surrounding areas during Operation Phantom Thunder.
Although one of the smallest factions in the Sunni insurgency, Al-Qaeda in Iraq may be one of the most deadly. US operations have put tremendous pressure on the group.
As part of a series of interviews with Brigade and Division-level commanders in Iraq, I spoke today with MG Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multi-National Division-North and the 25th Infantry Division (Light), about U.S. operations aimed at disrupting and destroying al-Qaeda in northern Iraq during the summer of 2007. You can access the video of the interview below.
The brigade responsible for most of Diyala in 2007 is rotating home, beginning the drawdown of U.S. troops. Yet force levels in Diyala will remain constant.