Jump to content

Second Battle of Fallujah

Coordinates: 33°21′N 43°47′E / 33.350°N 43.783°E / 33.350; 43.783
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Second Battle of Fallujah
Part of the Iraq War and the war on terror

U.S. Marines from Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, firing an 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; 43.783
Result Coalition victory
 United States
 United Kingdom
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
Islamic Army in Iraq
Ansar al-Sunnah
1920 Revolution Brigades
Ba'ath Party[1]
Commanders and leaders
Keith J. Stalder
Richard F. Natonski[5]
James Cowan
Iraq Fadhil al-Barwari
(ISOF commander)
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Omar Husayn Hadid al-Muhammadi  (November 2004)
Abdullah Shaddad 
Abdullah al-Janabi
Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Casualties and losses
95 killed, 560 wounded[10] (54 killed, 425 wounded from 7–16 November)[11]
8 killed, 43 wounded[11][12]
4 killed, 10 wounded[13][14]
1,200–2,000 killed[15][12]
1,500 captured[15]
(coalition claim)
Civilian casualties:
581–670 killed (Iraq Body Count)[16]
800 killed (Red Cross)[17]

The Second Battle of Fallujah, initially codenamed Operation Phantom Fury, Operation al-Fajr (Arabic: الفجر, lit.'The Dawn') was an American-led offensive of the Iraq War that lasted roughly six weeks, starting 7 November 2004. Marking the highest point of the conflict against the Iraqi insurgency, it was a joint military effort carried out by the United States, the Iraqi Interim Government, and the United Kingdom. Within the city of Fallujah, the coalition was led by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, the battle was later described as "some of the heaviest urban combat Marines have been involved in since Huế City in Vietnam in 1968"[18] and as the toughest battle the U.S. military has been in since the end of the Vietnam War.[19] It was the single bloodiest and fiercest battle of the entire conflict, including for American troops.[20][21][22][23]

Operation Phantom Fury was the second major coalition effort in Fallujah. Earlier, in April 2004, coalition forces fought the First Battle of Fallujah in an attempt to capture or kill insurgent elements who were considered responsible for the 2004 Fallujah ambush, which resulted in the deaths of four private military contractors of Blackwater. When the coalition fought their way into the center of the city, the Iraqi Interim Government requested that the city's control be transferred over to an Iraqi-run local security force, which then began stockpiling weapons and building complex defenses across the city through mid-2004.[24] The battle is notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War that was fought solely against insurgents as opposed to the government military forces of the former Ba'athist Iraq.


In February 2004, control of Fallujah and the surrounding area in the Al Anbar Governorate was transferred from the United States 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.[25] Images of their mutilated bodies were broadcast around the world.[26] 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).[27] 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.[28] A leak later revealed that the main factor behind this[clarification needed] wasn't the killings themselves, but the circulation of images of the event which served as a symbol of opposition to American forces in Iraq.[29]

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.[24] The Fallujah Brigade, composed of local Iraqis under the command of a former Ba'athist officer named Muhammed Latif, took control of the city.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32]


Coalition forces[edit]

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle and HMMWV providing security while Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four (NMCB-4) clear debris from the streets of Fallujah, Iraq.

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, and U.S. Army 2d Battalion/7th Cavalry. Regimental Combat Team 7 comprised the 1st Battalion/8th Marines, 1st Battalion/3rd Marines, U.S. Army 2d Battalion/2d Infantry, 2d Battalion/12th Cavalry[33] About 2,000 Iraqi troops assisted with the assault.[6] All were supported by Marine fixed and rotary-winged aircraft, Navy and Air Force fixed-wing aircraft; 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.[34] 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.[35]

Insurgent forces[edit]

In April, Fallujah was occupied by about 500 "hardcore" and 1,000+ "part time" insurgents. By November, it was estimated that the numbers had doubled.[36] Another estimate put the number of insurgents at 3,000; however, a number of insurgent leaders escaped before the attack.[37]

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.[38]

Unlike what most cities in Iraq saw, the Battle of Fallujah did not have internal disputes between insurgents. The fighters consisted of both Sunnis and Shi'as; Soldiers of the Mahdi army fought alongside Sunni and Ba'athist groups against the United States.[39][40] The Iraqi insurgents and foreign Mujahideen present in the city prepared fortified defenses in advance of the anticipated attack.[24][41] They dug tunnels, trenches, prepared spider holes, and built and hid a wide variety of IEDs.[24][41] In some locations, they filled the interiors of darkened homes with large numbers of propane bottles, large drums of gasoline, and ordinance, 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.[42] Insurgents were equipped with a variety of advanced small arms,[43] and had captured a variety of U.S. armament, including M14s, M16s, body armor, uniforms and helmets.[42]

They booby-trapped buildings and vehicles, including wiring doors and windows to grenades and other ordnance. Anticipating U.S. tactics to seize the roofs 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.[42]

Intelligence briefings given prior to battle reported that coalition forces would encounter Chechen, Filipino, Saudi, Libyan, and Syrian combatants, as well as native Iraqis.[44]

Civilian presence[edit]

Most of Fallujah's civilian population fled the city before the battle, which greatly reduced the potential for noncombatant casualties.[42] U.S. military officials estimated that 70–90% of the 300,000 civilians in the city fled before the attack, leaving 30,000 to 90,000 civilians still in the city.[37] The military used leaflets and broadcasts to encourage civilians to leave the city before the assault.[45] However, multiple news agencies reported that military-aged males were prevented from leaving or entering the city by the U.S. military.[46] Additionally, not all civilians had the means to leave Fallujah before the battle. Jane Arraf, who was embedded with U.S. troops, said that some families wrote "We are family" on the doors of their homes, hoping the Marines would not attack during the battle.[47]


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


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, 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.

2nd Infantry Division, Manchu, Charlie Co 1-9 Infantry Mechanized with 1st and 2nd platoons, (US Army) SEAL Sniper Task Elements from Naval Special Warfare Task Group Central and the U.S. Marine Corps Scout Platoons, captured Fallujah General Hospital, Blackwater Bridge, ING building, and villages opposite of the Euphrates River along Fallujah's western edge.[48] Marines from 1/3 fired 81mm mortars in an operation in south Fallujah. The same unit then moved to the western approaches to the city and secured the Jurf Kas Sukr Bridge.[48] These initial attacks, however, were a diversion intended to distract and confuse insurgents holding the city, preceding the all-out offensive. Two Marines died in the initial attacks when their bulldozer fell into the Euphrates River. 42 insurgents were killed along the Fallujah riverside.

Main Attack[edit]

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) and Army Civil Affairs soldiers 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 mechanized units, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment (Mechanized), followed by four Marine infantry battalions tasked with clearing buildings. The Army's mechanized Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division, Marines' 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and A. Co 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, was tasked with infiltrating the city and destroying any fleeing enemy forces.[49] 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.

Combat Awards[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 hits one of the rescuers.[50]

Staff Sergeant David Bellavia of the Army Task Force 2-2 Infantry was awarded the Medal of Honor.[51]

Ten Marines were awarded the Navy Cross:

Corporal Esquibel refused the award, citing "personal reasons".[60]

The following were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for actions during the battle:

  • 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
  • Naval Special Warfare Task Group-Central[61]


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 U.S. Marines since the Vietnam War.[62] Comparisons with the Battle of Hue City and the Pacific campaign of World War II were made. [63] 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[64] 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 1st Marine Division fired a total of 5,685 high-explosive 155mm artillery rounds during the battle.[65] The 3rd Marine Air Wing (aviation assets only) expended 318 precision bombs, 391 rockets and missiles, and 93,000 machine gun and cannon rounds.[65]

Fallujah suffered extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses. The city, once referred to as the "City of Mosques", had over 200 mosques prior to the battle;[citation needed] approximately 60 were destroyed in the fighting. Many of these mosques had been used as arms caches and weapon strongpoints by Islamist forces.[citation needed] 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.[66][67]

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.[68] 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.[69][unreliable source?]

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.[70]

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.[71][72]

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 the city was reclaimed by the Iraqi Army and Special Operations Units in June 2016.[73]

Order of battle[edit]

American forces[edit]

U.S. Marines take a break while searching the city of Fallujah in November 2004.

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

A Chief Engineering Aide assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 studies an aerial photograph of the streets in Fallujah in November 2004.

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

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.

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

U.S. Special Operations Command

Iraqi forces[edit]

British forces[edit]

U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines seize apartments at the edge of Fallujah in November 2004.


There were numerous criticisms relating to the United States' tactics during the battle, including the weapons used, civilian casualties, and collateral damage.

Night time air burst of white phosphorus as seen through night vision optics.
White phosphorus air burst during the Second Battle of Fallujah [82]

Use of white phosphorus as a weapon[edit]

The use of white phosphorus during the battle was first reported on November 10, 2004, by Washington Post reporters who were embedded with Task Force 2-2, Regimental Combat Team 7 reported that they witnessed artillery guns firing white phosphorus projectiles which "create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous burns."[83] The article also reported, "The corpses of the mujaheddin which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted."[83]

On November 8, 2005, the national public broadcasting company of Italy, Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. aired a documentary titled "Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre", which reported that the United States had used white phosphorus as a weapon in Fallujah, and which showed that insurgents and civilians had been killed or injured by chemical burns. Included were graphic video and photos of severe and deep chemical burns that penetrated the flesh and bones of men, women, and children. The filmmakers claimed that the United States used incendiary MK-77 bombs in violation of Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, a convention to which the United States was not a party until 2009.[84]

According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, quoted in the documentary, white phosphorus is permitted for use as an illumination device and as a weapon with regard to heat energy, but not permitted as an offensive weapon with regard to its chemical properties.[85][86]

On November 15, 2005, the US ambassador to the United Kingdom, Robert Tuttle, wrote to The Independent denying that the United States used white phosphorus as a weapon in Fallujah. However, later the same day, US Department of Defense spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Barry Venable confirmed to the BBC that US forces had used white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon there. Venable also stated "When you have enemy forces that are in covered positions that your high explosive artillery rounds are not having an impact on and you wish to get them out of those positions, one technique is to fire a white phosphorus round into the position because the combined effects of the fire and smoke – and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground – will drive them out of the holes so that you can kill them with high explosives."[87][88]

On November 16, 2005, BBC News reported that an article published in the March–April 2005 issue of Field Artillery, a U.S. Army magazine, noted that white phosphorus had been used during the battle. According to the article, "WP (White Phosphorus) proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes where we could not get effects on them with HE [High Explosives]. We fired "shake and bake" missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."[85]

Killing of wounded[edit]

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.[89]

Prevention of military-age males from fleeing Fallujah[edit]

Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other news agencies reported that military-age males, 15 to 50 years old, were prevented from leaving the city before the battle began by the U.S. military. All entrances to the city were controlled by U.S. forces.[46]

The Guardian reported that:

Before attacking the city, the marines stopped men "of fighting age" from leaving. Many women and children stayed: the Guardian's correspondent estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 civilians were left. The marines treated Falluja as if its only inhabitants were fighters. They leveled thousands of buildings, illegally denied access to the Iraqi Red Crescent and, according to the UN's special rapporteur, used "hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population".[90]

Civilian casualties[edit]

The Red Cross estimated directly following the battle that some 800 civilians had been killed during the offensive.[17][91][92][93] The Iraq Body Count project reported between 581 and 670 civilian deaths resulting from the battle.[16] Mike Marqusee, in a November 2005 article for The Guardian, 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".[94]

"There were American snipers on top of the hospital shooting everyone," said Burhan Fasa'am, a photographer with the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. "With no medical supplies, people died from their wounds. Everyone in the street was a target for the Americans."[94]

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

Depleted uranium[edit]

US forces used depleted uranium (DU) shells during the battle. Depleted uranium shells use very dense and non-fissile (but still radioactive) uranium left over from enrichment, for effective armor penetration. They also disperse DU dust into the environment during impact.[95] In the years after the battle, medical research teams have reported increases in infant mortality, cancer, and congenital anomalies or birth defects among children born in Fallujah.[96] According to a 2011 study by Alaani et al., depleted uranium exposure from munitions used during the war was either a primary cause or related to the cause of the birth defect and cancer increases.[97] According to a 2012 journal article by Al-Hadithi et al., existing studies and research evidence does not show a "clear increase in birth defects" or a "clear indication of a possible environmental exposure including depleted uranium". The article further states that "there is actually no substantial evidence that genetic defects can arise from parental exposure to DU in any circumstances."[98] The results of a 2010 study at Fallujah General Hospital, published in 2012, concluded that, "the higher rates of congenital anomalies are believed to be caused by exposure to some genotoxic agent, possibly uranium."[99]

In popular culture[edit]


  • 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,[100] a 2013 documentary film from Ross Caputi, a veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah who investigates atrocities that occurred and the legacy of US foreign policy in Fallujah.
  • Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre, a documentary investigating the use of white phosphorus and the MK-77 by the U.S. Army during the battle.
  • Once Upon a Time in Iraq,[101] a 2020 BBC documentary series, featured the Battle of Fallujah in its third episode.
  • Perfect Valor, a 2009 documentary. Chronicles the battle to control Fallujah, Iraq (known as "Operation Phantom Fury") from the perspective of six American troops who were there. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10850008/ Link for the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Neekki4T8Mw



  • Six Days in Fallujah, 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. Early access release was in June 2023, and follows 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (3/1) as they fight the Iraqi insurgency in the city of Fallujah, Iraq. [103][104]
  • 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.[105]


  • "In Old Yellowcake", song by Rasputina (2007)
  • "Christmas in Fallujah", song by Jefferson Pepper (2005) (UPC: 669910486467)
  • "Christmas in Fallujah", song by Cass Dillon and Billy Joel (2007) (Digital download, CD single)
  • Fallujah, an opera with music by the Canadian composer Tobin Stokes and libretto by Heather Raffo.[106]
  • "Fallujah" by Serbian roots reggae band FC Apartride Utd, On The Frontline Menu 2006, LP[107][108][109]
  • "Idhrib Ya Asad Al Fallujah(Strike oh Lions of Fallujah)", song by Ali Al-Faridawi and Hussein Ghazal[110]
  • Fallujah is an American technical death metal band from San Francisco, California, formed in 2007.


  • No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah[111]
  • My Men are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story[112]
  • We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah[citation needed]
  • New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah[113]
  • Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq[114]
  • Sunrise Over Fallujah[115]
  • Fallujah Memoirs: A Grunt's Eye View of the Second Battle of Fallujah[116]
  • Ghosts of Fallujah[117]
  • U.S. Marines in Battle: Fallujah, November–December 2004[118]
  • House to House: An Epic Memoir of War[citation needed]
  • Code Red Fallujah: A Doctor's Memoir at War[119]
  • Fallujah, with Honor; First Battalion, Eighth Marine's Role in Operation Phantom Fury; Expanded 2nd Edition[120]
  • All Of Which I Saw[121]
  • American Sniper

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin, Guss, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Second Edition, 2011, SAGE Publications ISBN 141298016X ISBN 978-1412980166
  2. ^ Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq. Zenith Press. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009 – via Amazon.
  3. ^ Tucker (2014), pp. 303
  4. ^ "November, 2004 - Into the hot zone at the Second Battle of Fallujah". Army.mil. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  5. ^ Rayburn, Joel D.; Sobchak, Frank K.; 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". Globalsecurity.org. 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. ^ [1]
  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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  16. ^ a b "Besieged: Living and Dying in Fallujah :: Iraq Body Count". Iraqbodycount.org. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  17. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original on 1 June 2023. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  18. ^ Garamone, Jim (5 March 2006). "DefenseLINK News: ScanEagle Proves Worth in Fallujah Fight". Archived from the original on 5 March 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  19. ^ Ricks, Thomas E. (2007). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003–2005. Penguin. p. 399. ISBN 0-14-303891-5.
  20. ^ Lamothe, Dan (4 November 2014). "Remembering the Iraq War's bloodiest battle, 10 years later". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 April 2024.
  21. ^ Murphy, Susan (7 November 2014). "10 Years After Battle For Fallujah, Marines Reflect On 'Iconic Fight'". NPR. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  22. ^ "Fallujah, again". The Economist. 28 May 2016. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  23. ^ Jenkins, Brian Michael (14 November 2016). "What the battles of Mosul and Aleppo tell us about their countries' futures". The Hill. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  24. ^ a b c d Ricks, (2007) pp. 343–346.
  25. ^ Prince, Erik; Coburn, Davin (2014). Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59184-745-8.
  26. ^ "Frontline: Private Warriors: Contractors: The High-risk Contracting Business". Frontline. PBS.
  27. ^ Scahill, Jeremy (2008). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Nation Books. ISBN 9781568583945.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Barski, Justin (July 2018). "Spectacular Atrocity: The capture and dissemination of images for terrorist aims". Afterimage. 45 (4): 9. doi:10.1525/aft.2018.45.4.6. S2CID 159357159. ProQuest 2100787857.
  30. ^ "Trouble in town". The Age. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  31. ^ Brian Ross (24 September 2004). "Tracking Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi". ABC News. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  32. ^ "U.S. hits Fallujah from air, ground". Associated Press. 4 November 2004. Archived from the original on 9 November 2004.
  33. ^ Lowry, Richard S. (2010). New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah. Savas Beatie. pp. 269–279. ISBN 1-932714-77-4.
  34. ^ "Black Watch ordered to join US cordon for assault on Fallujah". The Independent. London. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  35. ^ 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
  36. ^ Bing West (2005). No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah. Bantam Books. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-553-80402-7.
  37. ^ a b Filkins, Dexter; James Glanz (8 November 2004). "With Airpower and Armor, Troops Enter Rebel-Held City". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 June 2023. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  38. ^ Nance, Malcolm W., The Terrorists of Iraq: Inside the Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency 2003–2014, CRC Press, 2014 ISBN 1498706894 ISBN 978-1498706896
  39. ^ قتال جيش المهدي في الفلوجة 2004 شاهد ترحيب الأهالي وهوسات صباح الجنابي [The Mahdi Army Fighting in Fallujah, 2004] (in Arabic), archived from the original on 23 June 2023, retrieved 20 August 2022
  40. ^ براثا, وكالة انباء (23 May 2008). "اسرار من معركة الفلوجة عام 2004 كيف تعاون مقتدى الصدر مع البعثيين والتكفيريين وقاتل الى جانبهم". وكالة أنباء براثا (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 18 April 2023. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  41. ^ a b Lowry, Richard S. (2010). New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah. Savas Beatie. p. 20. ISBN 1-932714-77-4.
  42. ^ a b c d Bellavia, David (2008). House to House: A Tale of Modern War. Pocket Books. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-84739-118-6.
  43. ^ Cuney, Jonathan (October 2011). "Insurgent Arsenal of Fallujah". Small Arms Review. Archived from the original on 31 October 2022.
  44. ^ Bellavia, David & Bruning, John. House to House: An Epic Memoir of War Free Press. (2007) ISBN 1-4165-7471-9.
  45. ^ Estes, Kenneth W. (2011). Into the Fray. Washington, D.C.: United States Marine Corps History Division. p. 60.
  46. ^ a b AFP (8 November 2004). "US troops ban men from entering, leaving Fallujah". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  47. ^ Gott, Kendall D. (2007). Eyewitness to War. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute Press. p. 309. ISBN 9780160773129.
  48. ^ a b Wise p. 75
  49. ^ Gilbert, Michael (18 November 2004). "Stryker troops rejoin comrades in Mosul". Stryker Brigade News. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  50. ^ McDonald, JoAnna M. (14 March 2006). "Photographing Fallujah". Leatherneck Magazine via Military.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  51. ^ "Staff Sergeant David Bellavia | Medal of Honor Recipient | U.S. Army". Army.mil. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  52. ^ Fuentes, Gidget (22 September 2008). "Peralta to be given Navy Cross posthumously". Marine Corps Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  53. ^ "Parris Island DI earns Navy Cross". Marine Corps Times. 19 January 2007. Archived from the original on 22 January 2007.
  54. ^ "Marine given Navy Cross". Ocregister.com. 29 July 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  55. ^ "Jeremiah Workman - Recipient -". Valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  56. ^ "Christopher Adlesperger - Recipient -". Valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  57. ^ "Jason Clairday - Recipient -". Valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  58. ^ "Jarrett Kraft - Recipient -". Valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  59. ^ "Aubrey L. McDade , Jr". Military Times. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  60. ^ "Dominic Esquibel". Military Times. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  61. ^ Liewer, Steve (18 May 2005). "Troops Honored for Efforts at Fallujah". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  62. ^ "Surviving the Iraq War's Bloodiest Battle: An Iraqi Mother's Story". PBS.
  63. ^ Ricks, Thomas E. (2007). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. United States: Penguin Books. p. 400. ISBN 978-0-14-303891-7.
  64. ^ "DefenseLink News Article: Fallujah Secure, But Not Yet Safe, Marine Commander Says". Defenselink.mil. Archived from the original on 14 April 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  65. ^ a b "U.S. Marines in Iraq, 2004–2005 into the fray". Search.library.wisc.edu. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  66. ^ "Still locked down, Fallujah slow to rebuild". NBC News. 14 April 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  67. ^ "Increased Security in Fallujah Slows Efforts to Rebuild". The Washington Post. 19 April 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  68. ^ Holmes, Jonathan (4 April 2007). "The legacy of Fallujah". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  69. ^ "Telling the Fallujah Story to the World" (PPT). IMEF and MNCI Effects Exploitation Team. 3 December 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  70. ^ "Fallujah Four Months Later". Voice of America. 31 March 2005. Archived from the original on 18 April 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  71. ^ Thomas E. Ricks (11 September 2006). "Situation Called Dire in West Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  72. ^ "US lost control of al-Anbar province - Free Market News Network". 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  73. ^ "Top Iraqi commander vows to re-capture Fallujah and Ramadi after al-Qa'ida-linked fighters take control of key cities", The Independent, 5 January 2014
  74. ^ "U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet THE HISTORY OF THE 187TH FIGHTER WING. Retrieved Sep 14, 2016". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  75. ^ "Above Fallujah, layers of U.S. air cover". Nbcnews.com. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  76. ^ Dorell, Oren; Zoroya, Gregg (9 November 2006). "Battle for Fallujah". USA Today.
  77. ^ Neville, Leigh (19 May 2015). Special Forces in the War on Terror. Oxford. p. 178. ISBN 9781472807908. OCLC 889735079.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  78. ^ "History of the 1st Marine Regiment" (DOC). MNF-West. Retrieved 22 December 2008. [dead link]
  79. ^ Roggio, Bill (12 November 2004). "Retooling". Long War Journal. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  80. ^ a b c d e f "Forces Retake Key Civic Centers in Fallujah". U.S. Department of Defense. 10 November 2004. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  81. ^ Brown, Colin (22 October 2004). "Black Watch ordered to join U.S. cordon for assault on Fallujah". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  82. ^ "Once Upon a Time in Iraq: Fallujah". PBS.
  83. ^ a b Spinner, Jackie (10 November 2004). "U.S. Forces Battle Into Heart of Fallujah". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  84. ^ "UNODA Treaties". treaties.unoda.org. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  85. ^ a b Reynolds, Paul (16 November 2005). "OPCW Spokesman Peter Kaiser elucidates the OPCW position on white phosphorus". BBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  86. ^ "OPCW agrees with U.S. Military that use of white phosphorus as an incendiary agent is not prohibited". Archived from the original on 5 January 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  87. ^ "US forces used 'chemical weapon' in Iraq". The Independent. 16 November 2005. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  88. ^ "U.S. official admits phosphorus used as weapon in Iraq". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 November 2005. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  89. ^ "Marine cleared in videotaped shooting". CNN. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  90. ^ Monbiot, George (22 November 2005). "Behind the phosphorus clouds are war crimes within war crimes". guardian.co.uk. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  91. ^ "Red Cross Estimates 800 Iraqi Civilians Killed in Fallujah". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  92. ^ Pettegrew, John (2015). Light It Up: The Marine Eye for Battle in the War for Iraq. JHU Press. p. 184. ISBN 9781421417868.
  93. ^ Gurman, Hannah (2013). Hearts and Minds: A People's History of Counterinsurgency. New Press, The. p. 258. ISBN 9781595588258.
  94. ^ a b Marqusee, Mike (10 November 2005). "A name that lives in infamy". The Guardian. Fallujah. Retrieved 3 December 2022.
  95. ^ Hindin R, Brugge D, Panikkar B (2005). "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective". Environmental Health. 4 (1): 17. Bibcode:2005EnvHe...4...17H. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-4-17. PMC 1242351. PMID 16124873.
  96. ^ Patrick Cockburn (24 July 2010). "Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah worse than Hiroshima". The Independent.
  97. ^ Alaani, Samira; Tafash, Muhammed; Busby, Christopher; Hamdan, Malak; Blaurock-Busch, Eleonore (2011). "Uranium and other contaminants in the hair from the parents of children with congenital anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq". Conflict and Health. 5: 15. doi:10.1186/1752-1505-5-15. PMC 3177876. PMID 21888647.
  98. ^ Al-Hadithi, Tariq S.; Saleh, Abubakir M.; Al-Diwan, Jawad K.; Shabila, Nazar P. (2012). "Birth defects in Iraq and the plausibility of environmental exposure: A review". Conflict and Health. 6 (3): 245–250. doi:10.1186/1752-1505-6-3. PMC 3492088. PMID 22839108.
  99. ^ Alaani, Samira; Al-Fallouji, Mohannad AR; Busby, Christopher; Hamdan, Malak (2012). "Pilot study of congenital anomaly rates at birth in Fallujah, Iraq, 2010". Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of North America. 44 (1). doi:10.5915/44-1-10463. PMC 3708634. PMID 23864991.
  100. ^ Caputi, Ross (22 November 2013). Fear Not the Path of Truth – via Youtube.
  101. ^ Bluemel, James (July 2020). Once Upon a Time in Iraq, Episode 3 – via dailymotion.
  102. ^ "Pasaje al amanecer". Fotogramas (in Spanish). Hearst Communications. 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  103. ^ "Six Days in Fallujah on Steam".
  104. ^ Pham, Alex (27 April 2009). "Konami cancels Six Days in Fallujah video game". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  105. ^ "Nuts Publishing – Phantom Fury – 02-22-2015". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  106. ^ "Iraq war opera helps heal post-conflict trauma". BBC News. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  107. ^ "F.C. Apatride Utd* – On The Frontline Menu". Discogs.com.
  108. ^ FC Apatride Utd – Fallujah. 25 April 2012. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016 – via YouTube.
  109. ^ FC Apatride UTD – Fallujah / HD. 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021 – via YouTube.
  110. ^ "اضرب يا اسد الفلوجة". YouTube.
  111. ^ West, Francis J.; West, Bing (2005). No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah. Bantam Books. ISBN 9780553804027.
  112. ^ Kasal, Brad; Helms, Nathaniel R. (2007). My Men are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story. Meredith Books. ISBN 9780696232367.
  113. ^ Lowry, Richard (5 May 2010). New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah. Savas Beatie. ISBN 9781611210514.
  114. ^ Camp, Dick (15 December 2009). Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq. Zenith Press. ISBN 9781616732530.
  115. ^ Myers, Walter Dean (February 2010). Sunrise over Fallujah. Scholastic. ISBN 9780545232029.
  116. ^ Saxby, Alexander (21 April 2021). Fallujah Memoirs: A Grunt's Eye View of the Second Battle of Fallujah. Amazon Digital Services LLC - Kdp. ISBN 9798740492940.
  117. ^ Tyler, Coley D. (18 September 2018). Ghosts of Fallujah. Coley Daniel Tyler. ISBN 9781947309043.
  118. ^ McWilliams, Timothy; Schlosser, Nicolas (23 July 2014). U.S. Marines in Battle. Military Bookshop. ISBN 9781782667018.
  119. ^ "Code Red Fallujah: A Doctor's Memoir at War".
  120. ^ "Fallujah, with Honor; First Battalion, Eighth Marine's …".
  121. ^ "Lucian Read". Amazon.


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]