May 21, 2007

Iraqi Forces Repel Major Mosul Attack

Many have questioned the slow training and progress of the Iraqi Army and other security forces over the past three years. Training an army from the ground up has tremendous difficulties, and early on, they performed poorly. Iraqi units did not always engage when ordered, and pay issues and terrorist attacks drove many recruits out of the ranks.

Now, however, it looks like the Iraqi Army has become a formidable force for stability. In Mosul, they just turned back what looks like one of the largest-scale coordinated attacks on an Iraqi city yet seen:

Iraqi Security Forces countered several terrorists who targeted bridges, transition jails, police stations and a combat outpost with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, sporadic small-arms fire and indirect mortar attacks throughout the evening.

“This was a total team effort on the part of the Iraqi Security Forces and emergency responders,” said U.S. Army Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. “This Iraqi team showed the people of Mosul that they are resolute in their efforts to defeat this very cowardly, desperate enemy while protecting innocent civilians.”

The terrorists used VBIEDs as their primary tactic in two waves of attack. The car-bomb attacks took place at a Mosul police station and transition jail, while others tried to collapse two bridges in the city. None of them succeeded in anything but the explosions, and apparently the only casualties were the attackers themselves. They weren't suicide missions, at least not all of them, as more than one of the attackers were killed as they fled.

The second wave was smaller than the first, but the terrorists took more casualties. It opened with a VBIED attack on another police station, but the Iraqi police were able to clear the area before detonation, and again killed the attacker as he fled. The terrorists then opened up small-arms fire on several security targets in Mosul, but the only result was 15 dead terrorists and the end of the offensive. Sporadic mortar fire continued through the night, but none of it was coordinated with any other attacks, and even that dissipated eventually.

In their early days, some Iraqi units would have fled the city under that kind of pressure. The terrorists discovered that the morale among the Iraqi Army troops has improved by leaps and bounds since those days, and they intend to fight terrorists and insurgents. We have a lot more work to do, but we have built a solid corps of Iraqi units that will partner with us to bring stability as well as liberty to Baghdad and the rest of Iraq. All we have to do is show the same fortitude as the Iraqi troops in Mosul.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (16)

Posted by Chris | May 21, 2007 8:12 AM

Does anyone seriously think that this good news will make its way to the morning talk shows? Will the neo-Stalinists in Congress (Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Kennedy, Feinstein, etc., etc., etc.) acknowledge that real progress is being made? Of course not!

How horrible it must be to be a member of a political party that is so bass-ackwards that it considers our nation's slow bleed and defeat on the battlefield as their victory, cowardice as bravery, and sedition as patriotism.

Posted by Monkei | May 21, 2007 9:35 AM

Great, they are finally standing up so we can stand down, when do we leave?

Posted by macfan1950 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 21, 2007 9:50 AM

This is *great* news! The interesting thing is, I'm sure there have been signs of improvement all along for these same troops. Great to have folks like Michael Yon, CQ and HH continuing the fight to get the word out.


Posted by MarkJ | May 21, 2007 10:17 AM

Dear Monkei,

Hmmm, let's see what you would have said in other times and other places:

1777: Hey, we've just won the Battle of Saratoga. Great, that means we've won and the Brits will be leaving right away.

1863: Hey, we've just beaten Lee at Gettysburg. Great, that means we've won and can withdraw from the South.

1898: Hey, we just took San Juan Hill. Great, that means we've won and can withdraw from Cuba.

1918: Hey, we just stopped the Kaiser's Spring Offensive. Great, that means we've won and can withdraw from France.

1944: Hey, we've successfully landed at Normandy. Great, that means we've won and can withdraw from France (again).

1950: Hey, we've successfully retreated from the Chosin Reservoir. That means we've won and now withdraw from Korea.

Have I laid it on too thick, monsieur?

Posted by Monkei | May 21, 2007 11:37 AM

Gee, a real enemy with real uniforms and real threats ... in a real country with real leaders and real rulers ... I can see the simularities Mark ... darn the rest of us 65 percent are so damn stupid ...

Posted by Mark | May 21, 2007 11:40 AM


Re: 1777: Let us not forget that the great American hero Benedict Arnold won this battle which led the way to French recognition of our independence. All those sunshine patriots like Jefferson and Madison who call him a traitor just don’t understand that he was merely reacting to Washington’s lack of strategy and exit plan for the war.

Posted by jerry | May 21, 2007 11:43 AM

I don't know how it happened by my post came out by Mark instead me (jerry)

Posted by Bostonian | May 21, 2007 12:28 PM


Right, because millions of Iraqi voters do not count for anything at all. They're not real people, their choices don't matter, and it doesn't matter if they live or die.

Today's Democrats are anti-democratic to the core. Disgusting.

Posted by Monkei | May 21, 2007 1:53 PM

Bostonian ... count me as cold hearted but I would much rather have the lives of our 3500+ soldiers and marines back ... I only care that we get our troops out of this badly thought out and incredibly mismanaged fiasco ASAP ... your right, I could give two shits about the Iraqis at this point. The only reason you are still part of that less than 30 percent still supporting this crapfest is your denial of this loser and his administration ... to do so would make all your arguments and support over the past year of this chimp appear to be what it really is ... wrong. At some point we can only hope that your fellow blind followers will continue to abandon this losing cause.

Posted by The Rooster | May 21, 2007 2:38 PM

"Real Enemies, Real Threats"

Mokei's words are beyond a shadow of a doubt the most idiotic comments I've ever read on this blog.

I don't recall any Islamic Fascists wearing any uniforms.

Posted by tolkein | May 21, 2007 3:06 PM

If the surge works - and I hope it does - and the Coalition stays and does not rat on its allies in Iraq, then I hope there is a serious accounting by Rumsfeld, the generals before Petraeus, and Bush. It seems like the Coalition DID need more troops. And if deployed in numbers earlier, then maybe a whole lot of lives, American and Iraqi might have been saved. I suppose it's too late to impeach Rumsfeld?

Just to make it clear. I supported the war. I still do. I think Saddam's Iraq was an existentialist threat. And I approve the overthrow of fascist dictatorships.

Best wishes

Posted by Bostonian | May 21, 2007 3:08 PM


I'm sure Al Qaeda is THRILLED to hear from people like you.

I'm equally sure that the Iraqis are HORRIFIED that you care so little about the cause of freedom.

And I really hope you don't waste anyone's time by claiming to care about any humanitarian cause ever again in your entire life, because you have lost all possible moral ground for that.

Posted by No Oil for Pacifists | May 21, 2007 4:09 PM


It's easy to oppose, harder to propose. Keep in mind that with respect to the Middle East, we've tried bribing them, ignoring them, supporting stable strongmen over democracy, etc. Indeed, we tried all this with Saddam. What, exactly, would you have done different? And would you do the same in Kosovo, Sudan, Bosnia, etc? And if your solution is inaction, haven't you abandoned what's best about liberalism, as embodied by JFK's pledge to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty"?

You mock the distinction between wars against nation-states and wars against terrorists. But doesn't that cut against you? Terrorists, after all, are not protected by either Geneva III (POWs) or IV (civilians), and thus are considered war criminals without significant rights. So customary international law confirms terrorism is a greater threat than state action.

Military intervention overseas is justified if it is (1) morally correct; (2) in our "Realpolitik" interests; and (3) winable. Which prong does Iraq flunk? Does US entry into WWI fail the same prong? And I remind you that ours is a volunteer military, whose members voted with their feet by enlisting and -- even if now dead -- do not need you to speak for them.

Posted by J. Gocht | May 21, 2007 5:11 PM

You missed the actual reason the attack was repulsed!

The feeble, miserable run away before it explodes...wallow by the attackers, was against the fiercest fighters in olde Mesopotamia... the Kurds!

Long live...Kurdistan!

This isn't any kind of Shiite, Sunni bullshit... this is DMFKRS against the KURDS!

Olde soldier sends...

Posted by Fight4TheRight | May 21, 2007 7:51 PM

Here's my question.

Why do I have to go to publications and news outlets in the United Kingdom to find out what is really going on in Iraq and what is planned to happen there in the next few months?,,2085195,00.html

Posted by J. Gocht | May 22, 2007 7:52 AM

Want up to the hour [if not the minute] news from Iraq?

Get it here...

Olde soldier sends...