RELEASING THE HOUNDS
It’s a brisk morning somewhat like that of a fall day back in the states. The sound of heavy mechanized equipment, small arms fire in the distance and fast movers above are a constant sound followed up by the thump of attack helo rotors cutting the air throughout the city. I just returned from visiting the Marines up in Husaybah Iraq where they are kicking butt in Operation Steel Curtain. The Marines are working hand in hand with the Iraqi Army and they are doing a great job eliminating terrorist in the area. Mostly house to house fighting and maneuver warfare combined with close air attacks which are eliminating terrorists that remain in the city. The fast pace attack is being conducted in Husaybah as it has been taken over by insurgents and foreign fighters and used as a command center for operations, as well as the smuggling of weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq’s population centers. Marines are quickly transitioning from full combat operations to humanitarian operations back to full combat operations as quickly as they move down the city. This is achieved by their can do attitude, flexibility and ability to adapt and overcome.
Displaced Husaybah citizens are satisfied with leaving because they know that with us being there means the scumbags are leaving as one citizen told a Marine and they will no longer continue being held captive. Many citizens escaped the city while waving white flags above them so they are not confused as insurgents. Tough street to street fighting went on today but major ground was covered as individual houses were searched and several weapon caches were discovered. Operation Steel Curtain includes 3,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors and 550 Iraqi soldiers. It’s the latest in a series of operations this year in Anbar province and follows others such as operations Iron Fist and River Gate.
The Marines morale is high as they have been chomping at the bit to clear Husaybah for some time because we knew there were insurgents there holding the city at ransom. Few injuries have resulted on the coalition side although medical attention has been the utmost professional for the location. Operation Steel Curtain is an excellent example of all of the armed services coming together to work as a joint effort and showing the world that we mean business eliminating terrorists in Iraq.
Operation Steel Curtain is just another fine example of the United States coming to the trouble spot, identifying the enemy and kicking the living crap out of them. Many naysayers have questioned if the Iraqi Army will be ready to take over when we pull out of Iraq. This operation is perceived as a near graduation to full security and protection of their country. We are focused, in the attack and we are pissed! Semper Fi!
The area in central Iraq hasn’t been as busy as out west however the usual IEDs and IDF continue to occur throughout the day. Sunday was a quiet day until Sunday night brought counter artillery barrages and responding enemy mortars trading volleys for a half an hour. Our convoy today was the norm although high energy packed we didn’t have any enemy contact and went on our way. Haji be warned we are looking for you.