Battle of Husaybah (2004)
|Battle of Husaybah|
|Part of the Iraq War|
|United States Marines||Iraqi insurgents|
|Casualties and losses|
|5 killed, 25 wounded||15 killed, 20 captured|
The Battle of Husybah was fought in the spring of 2004 at the same time as the First Battle of Fallujah. In April 2004, Fallujah was under siege by United States Marines, and insurgents were looking to relieve pressure on the city by attempting an offensive of their own. Ten days before, the highway connecting Al Anbar to Baghdad was cut and the insurgents attacked the capital of the province, Ramadi. The attack was repulsed by the Marines and the battle resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Now the insurgents were ready for another attack, on the city of Husaybah on the Syrian border.
An estimated 300 Iraqis from Fallujah and Ramadi launched an assault against the Americans in Husaybah. The insurgents lured the Americans from their base on the outskirts of the city first with a roadside bombing and then with a mortar attack. When the Marines responded they walked into an ambush where they were hit with small-arms and machine-gun fire near a former Ba'ath Party headquarters. More reinforcements were soon called in to help the ambushed Marines. That force was also hit as they were entering the city. Very soon heavy street fighting ensued which lasted the whole day. The Marines had to clear two-story buildings block by block. Most of the fighting was centered along a street in the northern part of the town which the Marines called "East End Street". Insurgents were on both sides of the street and were constantly laying down fire at the Marines. The fighting slowed down a bit after the Marines cleared a house used by the insurgents as a stronghold which they later nicknamed "The Crack House", but fighting continued late into the night. During the night Cobra helicopter gunships strafed insurgent positions near a soccer stadium downtown.
Five Marines were killed along with 150 insurgents in the fierce battle that lasted 14 hours. Another 9 Marines were wounded and 20 insurgents captured. Capt. Richard J. Gannon II, 31, of Escondido, Calif. (Posthumously awarded the rank of Major)
Cpl. Christopher A. Gibson, 23, of Simi Valley, CA
Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., 21, of Jefferson, Ohio.
Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez Jr., 21, of San Diego, Texas.
Lance Cpl. Gary F. VanLeuven, 20, of Klamath Falls, Ore.