first published on May 24, 2016 by Will
Iraqi rockets can be seen from multiple angles hitting suspected Islamic State positions in and around the city of Fallujah in the following video.
Iraqi Security Forces have launched an assault to retake the city after a series of deadly bombings against Shiite targets in Baghdad. Fallujah is origin point from which the Sunni insurgents are planning, supplying, and executing their attacks on the Iraqi capital. Fallujah was the first city to fall to ISIS in their Blitzkrieg land grab in Iraq and Syria two years ago.
The bombings in Baghdad are a result of the Islamic State desperately lashing out as their Iraqi capital of Mosul is currently besieged by Iraqi, Kurdish, and Western forces, as well as their Syrian capital of Raqqa currently having the U.S. Special Operations and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces within just a few miles of the city. The operation to retake Raqqa is on standby until the formation of a replacement government for the region can be developed.
The operation in Fallujah threatens to slow the retaking of Mosul, as pro Iraqi forces, equipment, and air assets will need to be spread out across multiple fronts. The attacks in Baghdad also threaten to reignite a sectarian civil war similar to the one the city faced in the mid 2000s.
The Pentagon will limit the use of U.S. Special Operations advisors in the ground assault, leaving it mainly in the hands of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias. In fact, the notorious Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, was confirmed to be in the area meeting with the commanders of the various Shiite groups, i.e. Harakat al Nujaba, Hezbollah Brigades, Badr Organization, and other groups of the Popular Mobilization Units. However, Western coalition airstrikes are expected to continue supporting these militias, many of which are led by U.S.-designated terrorists.
The estimated 700 IS militants currently holding Fallujah are reportedly keeping civilians from leaving the city by means of sniper fire, as well as using them as human shields in a futile attempt protect their command centers and fighting positions. If the battle to retake Ramadi is any indicator of what this fight will look like, the city will be heavily booby-trapped by a well-entrenched fanatical fighting force. Expect many suicide blasts and nothing to remain of the city but rubble when the operation is complete.