We continue the assault though Husaybah and into to the town of Ubaydi along the Iraqi and Syrian border. Numerous air strikes have been conducted throughout the operation to squelch the insurgent held up in the cities. Tanks and additional armor accompany the Marines through the streets with continuous overhead protection from fast movers and helo platforms. Meanwhile, small arms battles continue with the ever present threat of 107 IEDs, SBVIEDs and 36 weapon cahes in the city as Marines on the ground level continue to clear the objective.

The 2,500 Marines and 1,000 Iraqi Soldiers are moving from house to house as Operation Steel Curtain expands its plan into the next city where insurgents are holding up along the Euphrates River. Many weapon caches and wanted personnel are being obtained as the assault continues. A minimum of 37 insurgents were eliminated in the first portion of the battle and dozens have been killed in the past two days. Pockets of scumbags still remain and are being trapped like rats with a ever tightening neuse around their neck. They can run but will only die tired. Insurgents have began to dress as women, crawl on the ground amongst sheep to escape and resort to, booby trapping bodies, using SBVIEDs are being identified by Iraqi forces which can identify them quickly and apprehend them. Both Iraq and Marine forces face booby trapped houses throughout the city that are rigged to collapse on them when they enter them. They can be baited to go into the houses by being fired upon or by insurgents wounding personnel in them only to have the American forces enter to aid the wounded and have the houses blown up to fall on them.

The Marines moral is good. Tuff and determined they continue their operation for the extended week. When you kick a rock over and find scumbags you keep turning rocks over until you get all of them. There are plenty of scumbags out here to take care of and we are on a roll as young Marines and Iraqi Soldiers build their coordination against the enemy. It’s the young Marines out there kicking in doors and freeing Iraq one terrorist at a time. They are where the rubber meets the road and regardless of age their professionalism and determination is ever present. These are the 17-22 year olds you know back home who might have loaded your grocery’s, cut your grass or been the “kid” next door. Tough, smart and battlefield tested they take on the foreign fighter head on and respond with outstanding results freeing a nation of scum. Its my pleasure to serve with them. They are heroes! May God continue to Bless America!

Semper Fi,
Time for a cigar!

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