View Full Version : Baquba Insurgent TTP

04-19-2007, 06:41 AM
16 April NY Times - Attacks Surge as Iraq Militants Overshadow City (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/world/middleeast/16insurgency.html?bl&ex=1176868800&en=a84a2d9cef4524e5&ei=5087%0A).

They maneuver in squads, like the American infantrymen they try to kill. One squad fires furiously so another can attack from a better position. They operate in bad weather, knowing American helicopters and surveillance drones are grounded. Some carry G.P.S. receivers so mortar teams can calculate the coordinates of American armored vehicles. They kidnap and massacre police officers...

Some insurgents have moved into Baquba to escape the escalation in Baghdad. But the city has been attracting insurgents for years...

The tactics reflect the skill and resolve of the insurgency here, soldiers say. “To say the guys we are fighting are any less smarter than me, that would be crazy,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion.

The Sunni groups seem to be cooperating like mob families, with ever-shifting alliances. Colonel Goins likens it to the HBO series “The Sopranos.” “We’ll work together today, but when they are no longer of any value,” he said, they part company...

04-19-2007, 01:32 PM
Great article. Baqubah has always been a trouble spot but nothing like it is today. Hopefully the american people realize that we are fighting a determined, well-trained highly capable enemy.

04-22-2007, 10:22 AM
22 April Washington Post - Troops in Diyala Face A Skilled, Flexible Foe (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/21/AR2007042101467.html) by Joshua Partlow.

In Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, the American military is engaged in an intractable guerrilla fight against an elusive and sophisticated enemy more deadly than many battle-hardened soldiers have ever encountered in Iraq. The attacks on U.S. and Iraqi soldiers here have risen sharply in recent months, a problem compounded by an influx of fighters in search of safer havens outside Baghdad. Many of the insurgents are well-trained, highly mobile fighters who refuse to get dragged into open confrontations in which American forces can deploy their overpowering weaponry.

The insurgents "fight in small numbers, they try and hit you through subterfuge, they like using snipers," said Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Hanner, 35, of Redding, Calif., part of an armored unit of Stryker combat vehicles that took part in the Buhriz al-Barra assault. "These guys know what they're doing. They're controlled, their planning is good, their human intel network and early-warning networks are effective."

These techniques have become increasingly devastating to the Americans in this province. Since November, when the 5,000-member 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division deployed to Diyala, at least 46 American soldiers have died in the fighting, officers said. Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed in the province from October 2005 to October 2006, according to a Washington Post database...

04-23-2007, 04:10 PM
Other interesting tidbits from SWJED's article about Baqubah:

At the same time, rifts have opened among insurgent groups that U.S. and Iraqi forces are hoping to exploit. In early April, U.S. military officers watched footage from surveillance drones of what they believed to be fighters from the 1920 Revolution Brigades -- a group formed in 2003 under a name that refers to Iraq's resistance to British colonialism -- engaged in street battles with al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters in Baqubah.

"They fought it out for like eight days, a knock-down, drag-out fight," Lt. Prisock said. "Towards the end, 1920s started running out of ammunition, [rocket-propelled grenades] and stuff like that."

Since these battles, U.S. troops say they have received more information from Iraqis about the whereabouts of roadside bombs and insurgent hide-outs. On the day of the Buhriz al-Barra operation, Col. Sutherland met with the leaders of the Bani Zaid, Al-Karkhiya, Al-Mujama and Shammar tribes to try to broker a peace agreement, using his troop presence in the village as a sign they were serious about fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq.

In parts of Baqubah, something of an unspoken truce has emerged between the 1920 Revolution Brigades and the U.S. military, said Capt. Aaron Tiffany, 26, a platoon leader from St. Louis ...

Disturbing indicator that AQIZ may in fact be stronger than formerly Ba'athist or purely "domestic" insurgent elements, or at the least appears to be better funded or supplied.

Also, a good example of how not to do counterinsurgency:

On another recent night raid near Muqdadiyah -- based on a tip from the Iraqi police -- U.S. soldiers rolled out in six Humvees expecting to find a half-dozen al-Qaeda in Iraq members in a meeting.

Instead they found a crying mother and her terrified 13-year-old boy.

"Tell him, since he's the oldest one in the house, he's the man of the house, he needs to man-up and stop hiding behind his mother," 1st Lt. Christopher Nogle, 23, of Orlando, instructed his interpreter.

The boy covered his face and sobbed. It was 3 in the morning. He said he didn't know where his father had gone.

"Does he love his father?" Nogle asked. "Does he want to see him again?"

The small barefoot boy shook with fear and said nothing.

"Ask him where his father hides his weapons," Nogle demanded.

"I swear to God I don't know," the boy said.

"He is not a man, he is scared," said his mother, who was also wailing.

"He needs to quit crying. He's responsible for everybody in here right now since his father left; his father abandoned everybody else," Nogle told the boy through his interpreter. "Tell him when his father comes back later tonight or tomorrow that he needs to have a talk with his father, that his father is doing very bad things and it's getting the whole family in trouble."

Before the soldiers left, an Iraqi police officer brandished two large buck knives in front of the boy's face. Nobody was arrested.

Pat Lang compared the above scene to this famous painting, entitled And When Did You Last See Your Father (http://turcopolier.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/22/boyinblue.jpg)?

04-23-2007, 04:49 PM
Also, a good example of how not to do counterinsurgency:

If the depiction is accurate, there is one strategic LT who thinks his only tool is a hammer. When that's the case, everything looks like a nail.

04-24-2007, 11:01 AM
Car bombing kills 9 U.S. troops in Diyala patrol base (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070424/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq;_ylt=ArCJpn7LLodbNwBiWq_98zes0NUE).

In one of the deadliest attacks on American ground forces since the Iraq war started more than four years ago, a suicide car bomber struck a patrol base northeast of Baghdad and killed nine U.S. soldiers and wounded 20, officials said.

An Iraqi civilian also was wounded in the attack on Task Force Lightning soldiers in Diyala province, a volatile area that has been the site of fierce fighting involving U.S. and Iraqi troops, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Of the 20 wounded in the attack on the patrol base, 15 soldiers were treated and returned to duty while five others and the Iraqi were evacuated to a medical facility for further care, the military said.


In a separate attack on Monday, a suicide car bomber struck a police station in Baqouba, killing 10 people and wounding 23, police said. The fatalities included Brig. Gen. Safa al-Tamimi, a city police commander, and the wounded included police Col. Bassem Azzawi.

04-24-2007, 01:52 PM
If the depiction is accurate, there is one strategic LT who thinks his only tool is a hammer. When that's the case, everything looks like a nail.

Well said Ryan, well said. I wonder if this is becoming more endemic across our junior leaders, especially as they face multiple tours, a tough, hidden enemy and a perceived lack of support from the home front. I sure this more the norm than the exception nowadays.

04-24-2007, 05:46 PM
I actually hope the opposite. The Lieutenant above sounds more like what I would have expected to hear in an Iraqi house at three in the moring two years ago, but not today. A great example of what not to do.

I pushed the honey/vinegar concept heavily with my guys... basically saying, "We have ten automatic weapons inside, twenty more outside, we are flanked and surrounded by our trucks and heavy guns and we have radios... the fact that we are the big dicks on the block right now is obvious but we don't need to act like it." I did not encourage a soft approach or ass kissing in any form but emphasized that there is a time and a place to kick in doors and intimidate people but they were few and far between.

It is my opinion that encounters like this serve to create more enemies than they do to mitigate or destroy them.