Yon - The Surge Begins - Baquba

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Yon's writing in his first surge dispatch is somewhat more florid than I've become accustomed to from him. It is full of hope and written without flinching. I rate it a "must read" for those who wish to actually follow this battle with fact based reporting.

Petraeus has bet the ranch on this offensive and may well take the pot. AQ's retreat from Anbar to Diyala cuts off their line of retreat to Saudia Arabia and Syria. Getting to Iran from Diyala by going east isn't easy at all and I'm positive that the Kurds would make retreat north less inviting than dying in place.

This is a decent map of the area.

Yon doesn't mention the Shia militias but I won't be surprised to read of extensive action against them in conjunction with the drive on Baquba. They have to have their wings clipped in order for Iraq to have a chance at remaining a single sovereign state.

UPDATE: Bill Roggio has additional detail plus quite a bit of detail in comments.

9 comments:

chuck said...

Yes, the south of Iraq will have to be retaken from the Sadrists after the center is more or less settled. It will be the last campaign and much will depend on Maliki's political chops and the loyalty of the Iraqi army.

Disclaimer: any resemblence to the actual course of events will be pure coincidence.

chuck said...

Hmmm,

Baquba and Jalula look like the two transportation hubs at opposite ends of the Diyala river valley. Jalula is up north, near what I assume is Kurdish territory in the mountains. I wonder if something is going on up there also?

Three other cities sited on roads leading from the valley are Tuz, Al Khalis, and Mandali. I know I've seen Al Khalis mentioned in the news recently. Maybe it was part of the 'shaping' operations?

chuck said...

Jalula dropped out of the news about 1 1/2 years ago. It appears in Islamic history as a Persian Fortress, so I would guess it guarded some approach into Iran. Here are some pictures. What a dump. Saddam didn't do much for the area.

Skookumchuk said...

Hmmm is right.

And the Iranian side of the border is Kurdish, too.

Rick Ballard said...

Chuck,

Take a look at the area on LiveSearch - looks like swamps to the west and ridges to the east. It's about a 20X20 mile box. That doesn't mean that AQ couldn't sift out but part of the "shaping" was allowing them to set up in Baquba in the first place - lots of reports from the general running that area that he was having a 'tough time' and needed more men.

He got'em.

Rick Ballard said...

Those might be groves to the east - I can't get the resolution down tight enough to tell.

loner said...

Godspeed.

Knucklehead said...

What Loner said. May our young men and women - and the few friends they have among the Iraqis - be safe and successful. They are fighting a war their fellow citizens have forgotten. What a shame.

Skookumchuk said...

We haven't forgotten.