Thursday, May 12, 2005

Operation Matador

I've been reading up on the current major military operation in Iraq, Operation Matador. Some of the better news is at Chester (The Adventures of Chester) , Belmont Club (The Belmont Club) , and Bill Roggio's Fourth Rail site ( Fourth Rail). Basically, the Marines have encircled positions along the Syrian-Iraq border that correlates with the center of Iraq (basically think of the region as a funnel for troops to come in from Syria towards Baghdad), and are using air and ground fire to pin the terrorists down in their defensive positions. It's early in reporting so far, but the reports that are coming out of the area have stated that some of the fighters that the American forces are facing are wearing Syrian uniforms, and that many of them have recieved some degree of combat training that could only be gotten from a standing army (ie; they aren't the dime a dozen suicide bombers and IED planters you find. These are hardcore fighters who will fight to the death if need be). The fighters apparently are making every attempt to fight to the death, since the Coalition forces have brought in heavy weaponry and major airpower to reduce the area to rubble. I'm also left wondering how fast the Syrian military ran from the area, and how much of an abject lesson they're going to take from this.

It wouldn't suprise me if the current spate of terror attacks in Iraq are acutally responses- albiet feeble ones- from the terorrists to try to relieve pressure upon their border "fortresses". If they can get American forces to divert attention elsewhere, they might be able to break the cordon that's tightening around them. Problem is, is that the attacks that they're perpetrating throughout Iraq aren't working. Sure, they're killing innocent civilians in numbers, but it does not have any worth on a strategic or tacitcal level. They're aiming at soft targets, and those targets are really indefensible by the coalition forces in the manner that the terrorists are going after them. They can't protect them in the fashion that the terrorists want them to- with heavy concentrations of manpower- and the terrorists probably know this. It's also a testament to their lack of leadership and resources. If this is the best they can do against a major military offensive by the coalition forces, they will have no alternative but to either leave Iraq, or accept the amnesty of the Iraqi government.

Oh, and the near capture of Zarqawui and the capture of his computer have apparently paid dividends. Anyone want to take guesses on how much the computer has helped coalition forces in preparing Matador?


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