Operation Phantom Thunder
|Operation Phantom Thunder|
|Part of the Iraq War|
A cloud of smoke and dust envelopes a U.S. soldier seconds after he fired an AT-4 anti-tank weapon at an insurgent position during fighting in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood.
| United States
New Iraqi Army
1920 Revolution Brigade
Awakening movements in Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Islamic State of Iraq
|Commanders and leaders|
| Gen. David Petraeus
Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno
| Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
Abu Ayyub al-Masri
|~28,000 US/Iraqi Forces
|Casualties and losses|
|140 killed (U.S.),
220 killed (Iraqi security forces),
20 killed (U.S.-allied Iraqi militia),
1 OH-58 Kiowa and
1 AH-64 Apache shot down
|1,196 killed (46 bombers),
51 boats destroyed,
1,113 weapons caches destroyed,
382 high value individuals captured or killed,
2,299 IEDs cleared,
52 VBIEDS neutralized,
142 total Battalion-level Joint Operations
Operation Phantom Thunder began on 16 June 2007, when Multi-National Force-Iraq launched major offensive operations against al-Qaeda and other extremist terrorists operating throughout Iraq. Operation Phantom Thunder was a corps level operation, including Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Diyala Province, Operation Marne Torch and Operation Commando Eagle in Babil Province, Operation Fardh al-Qanoon in Baghdad, Operation Alljah in Anbar Province, and continuing special forces actions against the Mahdi Army in southern Iraq and against Al-Qaeda leadership throughout the country. The operation was one of the biggest military operations in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
- 1 Background
- 2 The Operation
- 3 The Operation ends
- 4 Military units involved
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
|This section requires expansion. (July 2008)|
From January to June 2007, as part of the "surge", an additional five U.S. brigades arrived in Iraq and were deployed throughout the Baghdad Belts in preparation for the upcoming operation. At the same time, U.S. forces launched "shaping" operations to set the conditions for the operation.
On 14 June, the Diyala Operational Command was established, an Iraqi corps-level command allowing coordination between Iraqi security forces throughout Diyala.
U.S. and Iraqi forces launched attacks on Baghdad's northern and southern flanks mid-June to clear out Sunni insurgents, al-Qaida fighters and Shiite militiamen who had fled the capital and Anbar during the four-month-old security operation. The U.S. wanted to take advantage of the arrival of the final brigade of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to open the concerted attacks.
Operation "Law and Order"
Operation Law and Order had already begun on 14 February in an attempt to take back Baghdad which had come more than 70 percent under insurgent control. It became part of Phantom Thunder when that operation started and during the period of Phantom Thunder 311 insurgents, including 26 bombers, were killed in fighting in Baghdad.
Operation "Marne Torch"
Operation Marne Torch began on 16 June in the Arab Jabour and Salman Pak area, conducted by the new Multinational Division Central. Arab Jabour, being only 20 kilometers southeast from Baghdad, is a major transit point for insurgent forces in and out of Baghdad. By 14 August, 2,500 Coalition and Iraqi forces had detained more than five dozen suspected extremists, destroyed 51 boats, killed 88 terrorists and discovered and destroyed 51 weapons caches.
Operation "Arrowhead Ripper"
Operation Arrowhead Ripper began on 18 June, when Multi-National Division-North commenced offensive operations against Al-Qaeda positions in Baquba in Diyala province where fighting had already been going on for months. The operation started with air assaults under the cover of darkness in Baquba. Heavy street fighting lasted throughout the first day of the operation, mainly in the center of the city and around the main city market. On 22 June, Coalition attack helicopters killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen and the vehicle they were using southwest of Khalis in Diyala province. By 19 August, at least 227 insurgents had been killed in Baquba.
Operation "Commando Eagle"
Operation Commando Eagle began on 21 June in the Mahmudiyah region southwest of Baghdad, conducted by Multinational Division Central. This region contains the notorious Triangle of Death and was the location where three US soldiers were kidnapped in mid-May 2007. The operation has so far resulted in 31 detainees and the seizure of multiple large weapons caches. The operation was described as "a mix of helicopter borne air assaults and Humvee-mounted movements."
Operation Alljah was being conducted by Multi-National Forces West. In the western Al Anbar province operations attacked insurgent supply lines and weapons caches, targeting the regions of Fallujah, Karma and Thar Thar. Commanders of the operation expressed belief that Fallujah would be cleared by August and that the regions of Karma and Thar Thar would be cleared by July. On 17 June, a raid near Karma killed a known Libyan Al-Qaeda fighter and six of his aides and on 21 June six al-Qaeda members were killed and five were detained during early-morning raids also near Karma. Also on 23 June, a U.S. airstrike killed five suspects and destroyed their car bomb near Fallujah. Insurgents also struck back in Fallujah with two suicide bombings and an attack on an off-duty policeman that left four policemen dead on 22 June. On 29 June, U.S. forces killed a senior al-Qaeda leader east of Fallujah. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Masri, an Egyptian, was a veteran of both battles of Fallujah. On 6 July a raid west of Fallujah resulted in the killing of an Al-Qaeda in Iraq battalion commander and two of his men and the captured of two more insurgents.
Actions taken against the Mahdi Army
On 21 June, a joint Iraqi-American operation was under way near Hilla to capture or kill members of Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Iraqi Special Forces raided Sadr City and captured a “key insurgent leader” on 20 June, along with two associates.
Numerous smaller operations had also been conducted against insurgents, which included attacks on retreating insurgent forces from Baquba in the town of Khalis and other insurgents targets throughout Diyala province. In the fighting in Diyala province an additional 234 insurgents were killed by 14 August beside those killed in operation Arrowhead Ripper, mainly in clashes in and around the town of Khalis. The fierces of the clashes happened when the U.S.-allied insurgent group 1920th revolution brigade and Al-Qaeda fought a battle at Shrween village in Muqdadiya on 4 July killing 20 members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The Operation ends
On 14 August, it was announced that the operation ended. Coalition and Iraqi security forces pushed into areas previously not under their control, and they also ejected insurgent groups from their strongholds in Northern Babil, eastern Anbar and Diyala provinces and on the southern outskirts of Baghdad. During the operation, Iraqi and Coalition forces conducted intelligence raids against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian-backed cells nationwide, with a heavy emphasis on cells in Baghdad, Diyala, and central and northern Iraq. Operation Arrowhead Ripper continued for another five days until 19 August with more intense street fighting in Baquba. The operations continued into operation Phantom Strike.
Military units involved
- US forces reported to be involved were
- 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
- 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
- 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
- 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
- 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
- 25th Combat Aviation Brigade
- 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
- 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit
- Regimental Combat Team 2
- Regimental Combat Team 6
- Task Force 88
- Iraqi forces reported to be involved were
- Iraq War troop surge of 2007
- Operation Fardh al-Qanoon
- Operation Marne Torch
- Operation Arrowhead Ripper
- Operation Commando Eagle
- Operation Phantom Strike
- Operation Phantom Phoenix
- Coalition military operations of the Iraq War
- The Battle of Baqubah I - The Long War Journal
- Michael Yon : Online Magazine » Blog Archive » Be Not Afraid
- The Progress of the Peshmerga Forces and their role in post-2003 Iraq
- "Report: Sunnis attack village near Baghdad". USA Today. 10 July 2007.
- One Week of Operation Phantom Thunder - The Long War Journal
- Qaeda fiercely resisting US-Iraqi offensive - Iraq News -Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - 20 terrorists killed, 20 detained during Operation Saber Guardian
- Current Press Releases - MISSING SOLDIERS RECOVERED
- Yates, Dean (21 June 2007). "10,000 US troops launch major offensive in Iraq". The New Zealand Herald. Reuters. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Operation Phantom Thunder | Institute for the Study of War
- The Battle of Iraq – 2007 - The Long War Journal
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - MND-C begins new offensive operations
- Operation Phantom Thunder: The Battle of Iraq - The Long War Journal
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - Operation Commando Eagle starts off strong
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - Al-Qaeda foreign fighter killed
- Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, June 23
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - Six al-Qaeda killed, five detained near Karmah
- Aswat Aliraq
- Multi-National Force - Iraq - Another senior al-Qaeda leader identified, killed
- Rubin, Alissa J. (22 June 2007). "14 Americans Are Killed in Combat in 2 Days". The New York Times.
- McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/04/2007 |Roundup of daily violence, Wednesday 4 July 2007
- Stryker Brigade News: Operation Phantom Strike
- Bill Roggio- Battle of Baquba
- Bill Roggio- Battle of Iraq
- MNF-Iraq- Operation Phantom Thunder
- Stars and Stripes- U.S. Troops Take the Offensive in Baqouba
- Bill Roggio- From Phantom Thunder to Phantom Strike