2nd Battalion 3rd Marines – The Angels of Al Anbar

first published on December 19, 2017 by

The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines were known by the people of Haditha, Barwanah, and Haqlaniyah as The Angels of Al Anbar. This is their story.


After their 2005-2006 deployment in the Kunar and Laghman provinces of northeastern Afghanistan, where they participated in the historic Operation Red Wings, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines redeployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Marines were assigned to an area of the Al Anbar province known as the Haditha Triad where they faced some of the last serious combat operations for the Marine Corps in the region.

The Triad consisted of three major areas of operations that were occupied by a singular rifle company each. To the southwest was Haqlaniyah, occupied by Golf Company. To the southeast was Barwanah, occupied by Fox Company, and in the northern region was Haditha proper, occupied by Echo Company. Each area of occupation face unique challenges for the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines as they fought to clear out the last standing insurgent groups who were attempting to use the area as a location for the rebirth of their terror movement in Iraq.

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On a day to day basis, the Marines faced suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices, heavy volumes of sniper fire, and lengthy ambushes from small teams of insurgents that would often turn into all out street fights. From September of 2006 to April of 2007, the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines would suffer 23 Marines killed in action. At the conclusion of their deployment, the Marines of 2/3 were nicknamed the Angels of Al Anbar by local Sheikhs and the population of the region they fought in for their sacrifices in ending the reign of terror put onto the people by the local insurgent movement.

If you would like to read more about the deployment of these men and their story, you can find a first hand account from one of the Marines who was a squad leader for Fox Company during this deployment by clicking the following link. Below is footage that was put together by the Marines of Fox Company throughout the duration of their deployment to Barwanah.


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