Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Daily attack on Diwaniyah VI/07 and Operation Black Eagle

An operation to finally clean up Diwaniyah began on April 6th - Operation Black Eagle. Notably it appears MND(CS) is not leading, but the main work is being done by US forces - though it is claimed to be lead by the Iraqi 8th division with US and multinational support*.

Iraqslogger has a number of articles, Diwaniyah is under curfew since April 6th, the US has used air strikes, and the enemy claims to have smoked 3 HMWVVs, at least one American has been killed, and about 60 or so from the Mahdi army, IED factories have been uncovered, including for EFPs.

And how does this affect our beloved Camp Echo?

31 March During the evening Camp Echo takes unspecified incoming fire (Lv MoD)
02 April Camp Echo is mortared at 0430 in the morning (Lv MoD)
06 April Camp Echo is rocketed at about 2200.
07 April Camp Echo is mortared around 1700 (daylight!).
08 April Camp Echo is rocketed around 1300 (daylight!).
09 April Camp Echo is quiet (Easter roundup summary at Lv MoD).

The 6th was Friday, so figure the usual post-sermon evening hate, but daylight indirect attacks are rather unusual. At a guess, unable to effectively target the moving operation, the Sadrists vented at the big static target just outside town.

Will Black Eagle help to ease the attacks on Camp Echo?

Short term while the operation rolls and heavy outside security remains probably so.

Long term (>month) I have doubts. There were similar operations just six months ago (October). The locals have to take charge again sooner or later, and up to now they've been good Sadrists. The local police were useless and unable to maintain control, and will continue to be so. The Iraqis would need to import a crack police brigade or so from elsewhere to significantly change that (and Diwaniyah is not that important in the big picture). Killing off some 100 Sadrist militia in a city of 500 000, where 10% or more may be potential militia fighters changes little. The supply of weapons likewise is unchanged (though with any luck key IED makers/cells have been nailed, and that would make the whole operation worthwhile). I fear the net effect, with bodies and city center airstrikes, may just be buckets of bad will from the remaining locals.

None of this changes Camp Echo's inability to act as more than a static mortar range target, or MND(CS) inability to conduct meaningful operations.

* If there exist any photographs showing any MND(CS) soldiers outside the wire excepting the Latvians, well, I cannot find them on the english language internet. If any visitors do see any please leave a comment and a link.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping me updated on Camp Echo.

Anonymous said...

I have to say Thank you for posting the reality that so many men and women are living in Camp Echo. I have someone working there which I care deeply about and it helps me understand what they are going thru.

sher said...

Thank you so much for these updates! I have someone there that I love very much and appreciate any news at all!

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

No problem, thankyou for noticing my efforts.

If only I had a stringer to canvas the Polish language news as well ....