Operation Desert Shield (Iraq)


Operation Desert Shield (Iraq)
Operation Desert Shield (Iraq)
Part of Iraq War and War on Terror
Date 2006
Location Iraq
Result Unknown
Belligerents
 United States
 Iraq
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg al-Qaeda
Other insurgents

A 2006 operation by the Iraqi insurgency, Operation Desert Shield was planned in December 2005 as a push against American troops in the Iraq War hoping to destabilize their position in the Anbar province over the following six months.

The planning of the operation wasn't discovered by Americans until documents captured after the death of Faris Abu Azzam were finally translated, and revealed the details of the operation.[1] The army said the documents surprised them, showing that the insurgents had a "pretty robust command and control system".[1]

Phase I. January-March 2006

The first phase, scheduled from January through March 2006, focused on isolating American targets by attacking supply convoys, destroying bridges and restricting the ability of helicopters to provide support.[1]

On January 7, a two-page memo suggested that those insurgents who had infiltrated American bases be asked to reconnaissance the physical area and send back reports to help select potential targets. It also suggested that ammunition caches be placed in advance of the attacks, that only soldiers who had pledged their willingness to die in battle should be sent, and that they first be trained in a series of rehearsed mock battles.[1]

A later memo was drafted, which contained the names of the American bases that could potentially be assaulted - including a list of weapons each target would require, including explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and Katyusha rockets.[1]

At the suggestion of the unnamed security chairman, it was decided that operational security required the project to move ahead on a need to know basis, letting individual brigade commanders believe their orders were isolated attacks and not know about their over-arcing strategy.[1]

Phase II. March-May 2006

Starting in March, AQI began keeping reports of each attack against American troops - tracking casualties on both sides, and offering analysis of why attacks were or were not successful.[1]

References


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