Second Battle of Fallujah

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Second Battle of Fallujah
Part of the Iraq War
4-14 Marines in Fallujah.jpg
U.S. Marines from Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, fire a 155mm M198 howitzer from Camp Fallujah, November 2004.
Date7 November - 23 December 2004[2][3][4]
(1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days)
Location33°21′N 43°47′E / 33.350°N 43.783°E / 33.350; 43.783Coordinates: 33°21′N 43°47′E / 33.350°N 43.783°E / 33.350; 43.783
Result U.S. Coalition Victory
 United States
 United Kingdom
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
IAILogo.png Islamic Army of Iraq
Ansar al-Sunna
1920 Revolution Brigade
Flag of the Ba'ath Party.svg Ba'athists[1]
Army of Mohammed
Army of the Mujahedeen
Secret Islamic Army of Iraq
Other insurgents
Commanders and leaders
United States Keith Stalder
United States Richard F. Natonski[5]
United Kingdom James Cowan
Commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Field Commander Abdullah Shaddad
Field Commander Omar Hadid 
Preacher Abdullah Jannabi
Preacher Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Ansar-ul-Islam Commander Hemin Saleem-Banishari 

United States 10,500 troops[6]
Iraq 2,000 security forces[6]
United Kingdom 850 troops[7]

Total: 13,350 troops
≈3,700–4,000 insurgents[8][9]
Casualties and losses
United States 95 killed
560 wounded[10]
(54 killed and 425 wounded from 7 to 16 November)[11]
Iraq 8 killed
43 wounded[11][12]
United Kingdom 4 killed
10 wounded[13][14]
Total: 107 killed, 613 wounded
1,200–2,000 killed,[15][12]
1,500 captured[15]
Civilian fatalities:
581–670 (Iraq Body Count)[16]
800 (Red Cross)[17]

The Second Battle of Fallujahcode-named Operation Al-Fajr (Arabic: الفجر‎, lit.'the dawn') and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, Iraqi-government, and British offensive in November and December 2004, the highest point of conflict during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S. Marines against the Iraqi insurgents in the city of Fallujah, and was authorized by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U.S. military called it "some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968."[18][19]

This operation was the second major operation in Fallujah. Earlier, in April 2004, coalition forces fought the First Battle of Fallujah in order to capture or kill insurgent elements considered responsible for the deaths of a Blackwater Security team. When coalition forces fought into the center of the city, the Iraqi government requested that the city's control be transferred to an Iraqi-run local security force, which then began stockpiling weapons and building complex defenses across the city through mid-2004.[20] The second battle was the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War for American troops,[21] and is notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War fought solely against insurgents rather than the forces of the former Ba'athist Iraqi government, which was deposed in 2003.


In February 2004, control of Fallujah and the surrounding area in the Al Anbar Governorate was transferred from the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division to the 1st Marine Division. Shortly afterward, on 31 March 2004, four American private military contractors from Blackwater—Wesley Batalona, Scott Helvenston, Jerry Zovko, and Michael Teague—were ambushed and killed in the city.[22] Images of their mutilated bodies were broadcast around the world.[23] Journalist Jeremy Scahill later called this incident the Mogadishu moment of the Iraq War (referencing the Battle of Mogadishu, also known as the "Black Hawk Down" incident).[24] Although tactical commanders in Iraq considered these deaths militarily insignificant, U.S. political leaders disapproved of a measured approach targeting the perpetrators and instead requested a larger assault into the city.[25]

Within days, U.S. Marine Corps forces launched Operation Vigilant Resolve (5 April 2004) to take back control of the city from insurgent forces. On 28 April 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve ended with an agreement where the local population was ordered to keep the insurgents out of the city.[20] The Fallujah Brigade, composed of local Iraqis under the command of a former Ba'athist officer named Muhammed Latif, took control of the city.[26]

Insurgent strength and control began to grow to such an extent that by 24 September 2004, a senior U.S. official told ABC News that catching Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said to be in Fallujah, was now "the highest priority," and estimated his troops at 5,000 men, mostly non-Iraqis.[27] However, the stated purpose of the military operation in Fallujah was to weaken the insurgency in preparation for the planned Iraqi elections in January 2005.[28]


Coalition forces[edit]

Before beginning their attack, U.S. and Iraqi forces had established checkpoints around the city to prevent anyone from entering, and to intercept insurgents attempting to flee. In addition, overhead imagery was used to prepare maps of the city for use by the attackers. American units were augmented by Iraqi interpreters to assist them in the planned fight. After weeks of withstanding air strikes and artillery bombardment, the militants in the city appeared to be vulnerable to direct attack.

U.S., Iraqi and British forces totaled about 13,500. The U.S. had gathered some 6,500 Marines and 1,500 Army soldiers that would take part in the assault with about 2,500 Navy personnel in operational and support roles.[6] U.S. troops were grouped in two Regimental Combat Teams: Regimental Combat Team 1 comprised 3rd Battalion/1st Marines, 3rd Battalion/5th Marines, Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 4 and 23 ("Seabees") and the U.S. Army's 2d Battalion/7th Cavalry. Regimental Combat Team 7 comprised the 1st Battalion/8th Marines, 1st Battalion/3d Marines, 1st Battalion/12th Marines Charlie Battery's artillery, the U.S. Army's 2d Battalion/2d Infantry, 2d Battalion/12th Cavalry, and 1st Battalion/6th Field Artillery.[29] About 2,000 Iraqi troops assisted with the assault.[6] All were supported by 3d Marine Aircraft Wing fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, Navy, and Air Force fixed-wing aircraft; and U.S. Army field artillery battalions, and USSOCOM Sniper Elements.

The 850-strong 1st Battalion of the Black Watch was ordered to help U.S. and Iraqi forces with the encirclement of Fallujah.[30] As part of Task Force Black, D Squadron of the British SAS prepared to take part in the operation, but British political nervousness about the possible scale of casualties stopped any direct UK involvement in the ground battle.[31]

Insurgent forces[edit]

In April, Fallujah was defended by about 500 "hardcore" and 1,000+ "part time" insurgents. By November, it was estimated that the numbers had doubled.[32] Another estimate put the number of insurgents at 3,000; however, a number of insurgent leaders escaped before the attack.[33]

Fallujah was occupied by virtually every insurgent group in Iraq: al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), Ansar al-Sunna, Army of Mohammed (AOM), the Army of the Mujahedeen and the Secret Islamic Army of Iraq. Three groups, (AQI, IAI and the National Islamic Army (1920 Revolution Brigade)) had their nationwide headquarters in Fallujah. An estimated 2,000 insurgents were from the Army of Mohammed (made up of ex Fedayeen Saddam fighters), Ansar al-Sunna and various smaller Iraqi groups.[34]

The Iraqi insurgents and foreign mujahadeen present in the city prepared fortified defenses in advance of the anticipated attack.[20][35] They dug tunnels, trenches, prepared spider holes, and built and hid a wide variety of IEDs.[20][35] In some locations they filled the interiors of darkened homes with large numbers of propane bottles, large drums of gasoline, and ordnance, all wired to a remote trigger that could be set off by an insurgent when troops entered the building. They blocked streets with Jersey barriers and even emplaced them within homes to create strong points behind which they could attack unsuspecting troops entering the building.[36] Insurgents were equipped with a variety of advanced small arms, and had captured a variety of U.S. armament, including M14s, M16s, body armor, uniforms and helmets.[36]

They booby-trapped buildings and vehicles, including wiring doors and windows to grenades and other ordnance. Anticipating U.S. tactics to seize the roof of high buildings, they bricked up stairwells to the roofs of many buildings, creating paths into prepared fields of fire which they hoped the troops would enter.[36]

Intelligence briefings given prior to battle reported that coalition forces would encounter Chechen, Filipino, Saudi, Libyan, and Syrian combatants, as well as native Iraqis.[37]

Civilian presence[edit]

Meanwhile, most of Fallujah's civilian population fled the city, which greatly reduced the potential for noncombatant casualties.[36] U.S. military officials estimated that 70–90% of the 300,000 civilians in the city fled before the attack.[33] Yet, not all civilians had the means to leave Fallujah before the battle. Jane Arraf, who was embedded with the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, said that some families wrote "We are family" on the doors of their homes, hoping the marines would not attack during the battle.[38] Still, the military used leaflets and broadcasts to encourage civilians to leave the city before the assault.[39]

The battle[edit]

US Army Infantryman from TF 2–7 CAV, prepare to enter a building during fighting in Fallujah.

[40]Diversion[41] [42][edit]

With Navy SEAL and Marine Recon Snipers providing reconnaissance and target marking on the city perimeter, ground operations began on the night of 7 November 2004. Attacking from the west and south, the Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion with their U.S. Army Special Forces advisers, SEAL Sniper Task Elements from Naval Special Warfare Task Group Central and the U.S. Marine Corps Scout Platoon, 1st and 2nd Platoon Charlie Company, Manchu 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment Mechanized, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division (U.S. Army)served as the main effort on the peninsula and supported by, 3rd Platoon Alpha Company 2/72nd Tank Battalion (U.S. Army), and 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, reinforced by Bravo Company from the Marine Corps Reserve's 1st Battalion, 23rd Regiment, and supported by Combat Service Support Company 122, from Combat Service Support Battalion 1, captured Fallujah General Hospital, Blackwater Bridge, ING building, and villages opposite of the Euphrates River along Fallujah's western edge.[43] Troops from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines fired 81mm mortars in an operation in south Fallujah. The same unit, operating under the command of the U.S. Army III Corps, then moved to the western approaches to the city and secured the Jurf Kas Sukr Bridge.[43] These initial attacks, however, were a diversion intended to distract and confuse insurgents holding the city, preceding the all-out offensive. 503 Air Assault did not participate in this battle. 503rd Air Assault stayed behind in Ar Ramadi in November 2004. Kirk Spitzer of CBS was embedded with the 1st Platoon Charlie Company 1/9 Manchu.The Manchus were requested by the US Marines because of their Mechanized Infantry firepower. Serving under the 1st Marine Division and later the 2nd Marine Division, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team participated in the Fallujah offensive in 2004. Two marines died in the initial attacks when their bulldozer fell into the Euphrates River. 42 insurgents were killed along the Fallujah riverside.

"We played a major supporting role in the Fallujah offensive by contributing mechanized infantry forces and artillery support to the fighting in the city of Fallujah, while continuing to fight an active insurgency in neighboring Ramadi," recalled Col.Patton of 2nd BCT 2ID.


Marines from 3rd Battalion 1st Marines and 3rd Battalion 5th Marines during the Second Battle of Fallujah.

After Navy Seabees from I MEF Engineer Group (MEG) interrupted and disabled electrical power at two substations located just northeast and northwest of the city, two Marine Regimental Combat Teams, Regimental Combat Team 1 (RCT-1) and Regimental Combat Team 7 (RCT-7) launched an attack along the northern edge of the city. They were joined by two U.S. Army heavy battalion-sized units, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment (Mechanized). These two battalions were followed by four infantry battalions who were tasked with clearing the remaining buildings. The Army's mechanized Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division, augmented by the Marines' Second Reconnaissance Battalion and A. Co 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, was tasked with infiltrating the city and destroying any fleeing enemy forces.[44] The British Army's 1st Battalion, The Black Watch, patrolled the main highways to the east. The RCTs were augmented by three 7-man SEAL Sniper Teams from Naval Special Warfare Task Group-Central and one platoon from 1st Recon, who provided advance reconnaissance in the city, Joint Terminal Aircraft Control (JTAC) and unilateral overwatch throughout the operation. The United States Air Force provided close air support for the ground offensive, employing F-15 Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, B-52 Stratofortresses, and AC-130 gunships to carry out close-quarter precision airstrikes against enemy strongholds within the city. The Air Force also employed MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance and precision strikes, and the U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft for intelligence collection, surveillance and reconnaissance before, during, and after the battle.

An M1 Abrams fires its main gun into a building to provide suppressive counterfire against insurgents.

The six battalions of U.S. and Iraqi forces, aided by Marine Corps Scout and Target Acquisition, SEAL Sniper, and JTAC elements pre-fire operations, moved into the city under the cover of darkness; and once aligned with the reconnaissance elements, began the assault in the early hours of 8 November 2004, preceded by an intense artillery barrage firing some 2500 155mm projectiles and air attack. This was followed by an attack on the main train station, which was then used as a staging point for follow-on forces. By that afternoon, under the protection of intense air cover, Marines entered the Hay Naib al-Dubat and al-Naziza districts. The Marines were followed by the Navy Seabees of NMCB 4 and NMCB 23 who bulldozed the streets clear of debris from the bombardment that morning. The Seabees used armored bulldozers to plow the streets while remaining safe and protected from enemy fire. Shortly after nightfall on 9 November 2004, Marines had reportedly reached Phase Line Fran at Highway 10 in the center of the city.

An air strike is called in on a suspected insurgent hideout in Fallujah.

While most of the fighting subsided by 13 November 2004, U.S. Marines and Special Operations Forces continued to face determined isolated resistance from insurgents hidden throughout the city. By 16 November 2004, after nine days of fighting, the Marine command described the action as mopping up pockets of resistance. Sporadic fighting continued until 23 December 2004.

By late January 2005, news reports indicated U.S. combat units were leaving the area, and were assisting the local population in returning to the now heavily damaged city.


The U.S. Army Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Task Force 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, and Naval Special Warfare Task Group-Central were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for actions during the battle.[45] Staff Sergeant David Bellavia of the Army's Task Force 2-2 Infantry was awarded the Medal of Honor. Sergeant Rafael Peralta of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, was awarded the Navy Cross.[46] Three other Marines were awarded the Navy Cross: First Sergeant Bradley Kasal of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, Staff Sergeant Aubrey McDade of Bravo Co, 1st Battalion 8th Marines,[47][48] and Corporal Dominic Esquibel of H&S Company, Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion 8th Marines. Corporal Esquibel refused the award, citing "personal reasons".[49]


U.S. Army Soldiers rush a wounded soldier to a waiting U.S. Marine CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter during the Second Battle of Fallujah in November 2004.

The battle proved to be the bloodiest of the war and the bloodiest battle involving American troops since the Vietnam War. Comparisons with the Battle of Hue City and the Pacific campaign of World War II were made.[50] Coalition forces suffered a total of 107 killed and 613 wounded during Operation Phantom Fury. U.S. forces had 54 killed and 425 wounded in the initial attack in November.[11] By 23 December when the operation was officially concluded, the casualty number had risen to 95 killed and 560 wounded.[12] British forces had 4 killed and 10 wounded in two separate attacks in the outskirts of Fallujah.[13][14] Iraqi forces suffered 8 killed and 43 wounded.[11] Estimates of insurgent casualties are complicated by a lack of official figures. Most estimates place the number of insurgents killed at around 1,200[51] to 1,500,[15] with some estimations as high as over 2,000 killed.[11][12] Coalition forces also captured approximately 1,500 insurgents during the operation.[15] The Red Cross estimated directly following the battle that some 800 civilians had been killed during the offensive.[52][53][54][55] The Iraq Body Count project reported between 581 and 670 civilian deaths resulting from the battle.[16] Some Iraqi NGOs and medical workers later gave higher estimates of between 4,000 and 6,000 dead, mostly civilians.[56]

The 1st Marine Division fired a total of 5,685 high-explosive 155mm artillery rounds during the battle.[57] The 3rd Marine Air Wing (aviation assets only) expended 318 precision bombs, 391 rockets and missiles, and 93,000 machine gun and cannon rounds.[57]

Fallujah suffered extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses. The city, once referred to as the "City of Mosques", had over 200 pre-battle mosques of which 60 or so were destroyed in the fighting. Many of these mosques had been used as arms caches and weapon strongpoints by Islamist forces. Of the roughly 50,000 buildings in Fallujah, between 7,000 and 10,000 were estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive and from half to two-thirds of the remaining buildings had notable damage.[58][59]

While pre-offensive inhabitant figures are unreliable, the nominal population was assumed to have been 200,000–350,000. One report states that both offensives, Operation Vigilant Resolve and Operation Phantom Fury, created 200,000 internally displaced persons who are still living elsewhere in Iraq.[60] While damage to mosques was heavy, coalition forces reported that 66 out of the city's 133 mosques had been found to be holding significant amounts of insurgent weaponry.[61]

A city street in Fallujah heavily damaged by the fighting.

In mid-December, residents were allowed to return after undergoing biometric identification, provided they wore their ID cards all the time. Reconstruction progressed slowly and mainly consisted of clearing rubble from heavily damaged areas and reestablishing basic utilities. Only 10% of the pre-offensive inhabitants had returned as of mid-January, and only 30% as of the end of March 2005.[62]

Nevertheless, the battle proved to be less than the decisive engagement that the U.S. military had hoped for. Some of the nonlocal insurgents, along with Zarqawi, were believed to have fled before the military assault, leaving mostly local militants behind. Subsequent U.S. military operations against insurgent positions were ineffective at drawing out insurgents into another open battle, and by September 2006, the situation had deteriorated to the point that the Al-Anbar province that contained Fallujah was reported to be in total insurgent control by the U.S. Marine Corps, with the exception of only pacified Fallujah, but now with an insurgent-plagued Ramadi.[63][64]

After the U.S. military operation of November 2004, the number of insurgent attacks gradually increased in and around the city, and although news reports were often few and far between, several reports of IED attacks on Iraqi troops were reported in the press. Most notable of these attacks was a suicide car bomb attack on 23 June 2005 on a convoy that killed 6 Marines. Thirteen other Marines were injured in the attack. However, fourteen months later insurgents were again able to operate in large numbers.

A third push was mounted from September 2006 and lasted until mid-January 2007. Tactics developed in what has been called the "Third Battle of Fallujah," when applied on a larger scale in Ramadi and the surrounding area, led to what became known as "the Great Sunni Awakening." After four years of bitter fighting, Fallujah was turned over to the Iraqi Forces and the Iraqi Provincial Authority during the autumn of 2007.

Al Qaeda-linked Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant subsequently took over Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in early 2014 and was reclaimed by the Iraqi Army and Special Operations Units in June 2016.[65]

Order of battle[edit]

American forces[edit]

U.S. Marines take a break while searching the city of Fallujah in November 2004.
U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines seize apartments at the edge of Fallujah in November 2004.
U.S. Army Soldiers use a wall and a pillar as a shield while they tactically enter and clear a building in Fallujah in November 2004.

Regimental Combat Team 1 (RCT-1) built around the 1st Marine Regiment:

Regimental Combat Team 7 (RCT-7) built around the 7th Marine Regiment:

2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (U.S. Army)

  • 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment, [1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division] (U.S. Army)
  • 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry (U.S. Army)
  • A Troop 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry (U.S. Army)
  • Alpha Company, 458th Engineer Battalion, Engineer Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (U.S. Army)
  • 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment (U.S. Army)
  • 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry (U.S. Army)
  • 759th Military Police Battalion Composite (U.S. Army)
    • HHD, 759th Military Police Battalion (FWD)
    • 148th Military Police Team (FWD) (Police Intelligence)
    • 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) (Combat Support)
    • 630th Military Police Company (Combat Support)
    • 984th Military Police Company (Combat Support)
  • 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion (U.S. Marine Corps)
  • 15th Forward Support Battalion
  • 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division TAC (Bravo Company, 13th Signal, E-31; Bravo Company, 312th Military Intel)
  • 689th Engineer Company (Clearance) (U.S. Army Reserve)

1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry, 36th Infantry Division (U.S. Army)

    • 81st BCT QRF Platoon
  • 81st BCT 181 BN C Co Med

CROWS Team One

  • Small Craft Company Special Operations River Recon

United States Air Forces Central Command (U.S. Air Force)

U.S. Special Operations Command (embedded)

Iraqi forces[edit]

British forces[edit]


A four-picture series of photographs. Clockwise from the upper left: A Marine tries dragging a wounded Marine down a city street; a sailor runs over to help him; the rescuing Marine is shot; both Marines lie wounded on the street.
In this series of photographs a Marine and Corpsman from 1st Battalion 8th Marines attempt to recover a Marine wounded by a sniper; an insurgent machine-gunner cuts down one of the would be rescuers.[74]

Despite the Coalition success, the battle was not without controversy. A number of allegations have been made regarding the United States' armed intervention. For example, a documentary entitled Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre stated that the U.S. forces used white phosphorus as a weapon against civilians. The U.S. military maintains that white phosphorus was not used against civilians, but has confirmed its use as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants.[75]

According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, white phosphorus is permitted under the Chemical Weapons Convention if it is used to illuminate a battlefield or to produce smoke. But white phosphorus is a banned chemical weapon if its toxic and caustic properties are used intentionally, and its use in this manner constitutes a war crime.

An article by a US Army captain present at the battle published in the US Army's Field Artillery Manual makes it clear that white phosphorus was used against insurgents in situations where conventional munitions did not have the desired effects.[76][77]

The use of phosphorus was especially controversial in the United Kingdom because British forces were involved in the battle. British law prohibits British forces being present in a theatre in which phosphorus is used as an anti-personnel weapon, whether or not the targets are military personnel.[78]

On 16 November 2004, NBC News aired footage that showed a U.S. Marine killing a wounded Iraqi fighter. In this video, the Marine was heard saying that the Iraqi was "playing possum". NCIS investigators later determined that the Marine was acting in self-defense.[79] The AP news agency reported that military-age males attempting to flee the city were turned back by the U.S. military.[80]

Mike Marqusee, in a November 2005 article for The Guardian, compared the battle to the My Lai massacre, bombing of Guernica, and Halabja chemical attack and wrote that "The US claims that 2,000 died, most of them fighters. Other sources disagree. When medical teams arrived in January they collected more than 700 bodies in only one third of the city. Iraqi NGOs and medical workers estimate between 4,000 and 6,000 dead, mostly civilians".[81]

Years after the battle, medical research teams discovered an increase in infant mortality, cancer, and congenital anomalies or birth defects among children born in Fallujah.[82] A 2011 study concluded that depleted Uranium exposure from munitions used in the war was either a primary cause or related to the cause of the birth defects and cancer.[83]

In popular culture[edit]

Demonstration in front of the British parliament against the war and the consequences of the Second Battle of Fallujah.


  • Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre, a documentary denouncing the use of white phosphorus and the MK-77 by the U.S. Army against civilians in the city.
  • Occupation: Dreamland, a 2005 documentary film that follows soldiers of the 1/505 of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fallujah, Iraq, in the beginning of 2004.
  • Shootout! – Episode 1: D-Day: Fallujah (UPC: 733961741353), a 2006 A&E History Channel Special detailing various gun battles that occurred during the Second Battle of Fallujah.
  • The Road to Fallujah, a 2009 documentary following the story of Mark Manning, the only westerner to live among the residents of Fallujah following the November 2004 battle.
  • Fear Not the Path of Truth,[84] a 2013 documentary film from a veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah who investigates atrocities that he alleges occurred and the legacy of US foreign policy in Fallujah.
  • Once Upon a Time in Iraq, a 2020 BBC documentary series, featured the Battle of Falluja in its third episode.



  • Six Days in Fallujah, is a video game that follows a squad of U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines over the span of the six bloodiest days in the battle for Fallujah. It was dropped by Konami for the controversy surrounding it and remained in limbo until 2021. The restarted game was announced in 2021 with publishing of Victura and developed by Highwire Games.[86]
  • Close Combat: First to Fight, is a video game that was also designed with input from former and active-duty U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, who had participated in combat around Fallujah, Iraq during Operation Phantom Fury.
  • Phantom Fury: The 2nd Battle for Fallujah, is a solitaire board game based on the actions of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in the Jolan district in November 2004.[87]



See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq". Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  3. ^ Tucker (2014), pp. 303
  4. ^ November, 2004 – Into the hot zone at the Second Battle of Fallujah
  5. ^ Rayburn, Joel D.; Sobchak, Frank K. (edited by); Godfroy, Jeanne F.; Morton, Matthew D.; Powell, James S.; Zais, Matthew M. (January 2019). The U.S. Army in the Iraq War – Volume 1, Invasion, Insurgency, Civil War, 2003–2006 (PDF). UNITED STATES ARMY WAR COLLEGE PRESS. p. 346. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Ricks, Thomas E. (2007). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. United States: Penguin Books. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-14-303891-7.
  7. ^ "Black Watch ordered to join US cordon for assault on Fallujah". The Independent. London. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  8. ^ John Pike. "Operation al-Fajr (Dawn) / Phantom Fury Fallujah, Iraq". Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  9. ^ Karon, Tony (8 November 2004). "The Grim Calculations of Retaking Fallujah". Time. Archived from the original on 11 November 2004. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  10. ^ Fallujah-Iwo Jima Comparison Raises Eyebrows
  11. ^ a b c d e Ricks, Thomas E. (2007). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. United States: Penguin Books. p. 400. ISBN 978-0-14-303891-7.
  12. ^ a b c d Mikaberidze, Alexander (2011). Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia. United States: ABC-CLIO. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-59884-336-1.
  13. ^ a b "Dead Black Watch soldiers named". BBC News. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Black Watch pays price for backing Fallujah offensive". The Independent. London. 9 November 2004. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  15. ^ a b c d "From Fallujah to Qaim". Asia Times. 13 May 2005. Archived from the original on 16 January 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  16. ^ a b Besieged: Living and Dying in Fallujah
  17. ^ Singal, Jesse; Jesse Singal, Christine Lim and M.J. Stephey (19 March 2010). "November 2004: Fight in Fallujah – Seven Years in Iraq: An Iraq War Timeline". Time. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  18. ^ ScanEagle Proves Worth in Fallujah Fight, DefenseLINK News
  19. ^ Ricks, Thomas E. (2007). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003–2005. Penguin. p. 399. ISBN 0-14-303891-5.
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  25. ^ Rayburn, Joel D. (January 2019). The U.S. Army in the Iraq War. Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press. p. 283.
  26. ^ "Trouble in town". The Age. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  27. ^ Brian Ross (24 September 2004). "Tracking Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi". ABC News. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  28. ^ "U.S. hits Fallujah from air, ground". Associated Press. 4 November 2004. Archived from the original on 9 November 2004.
  29. ^ Lowry, Richard S. (2010). New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah. Savas Beatie. pp. 269–279. ISBN 1-932714-77-4.
  30. ^ "Black Watch ordered to join US cordon for assault on Fallujah". The Independent. London. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  31. ^ Urban, Mark, Task Force Black: The Explosive True Story of the Secret Special Forces War in Iraq , St. Martin's Griffin , 2012 ISBN 1250006961 ISBN 978-1250006967,p.65
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Tucker, Spencer C. (2014). Battles That Changed American History: 100 of the Greatest Victories and Defeats. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1440828614.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]