Operation Phantom Thunder
June 16-?, 2007
A series of operations under the overarching title Operation Phantom Thunder was launched on June 16 2007. The operation was designed to protect the Iraqi people, ease reconciliation among the religious sects, defeat al Qaeda in Iraq and other extremists, and to continue to develop Iraqi security forces.
By June 2007, the surge of U.S. forces that President Bush ordered into Iraq was complete, and Operation Phantom Thunder was one of many simultaneous operations throughout Iraq that was focused on rooting out enemies in order to provide security and stability for all Iraqis. Operation Phantom Thunder was a corps-level offensive aimed at defeating extremists in Iraq and was an open-ended operation that extended through the summer and done in conjunction with civil-military operations to support political and economic efforts.
The operation also had indivdual operations at division and brigade level to clear al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shi'a extremists in, near and around Baghdad. It also included aggressive shaping operations by our Special Operations Forces focused on al Qaeda in Iraq and other special groups.
In Anbar provence a team from MNF consisted of two regimental combat teams, an Army brigade combat team and a Marine Expeditionary Unit, that as of June 22, 2007, focused on shuting down enemy support and transit zones to the west and northwest of Baghdad.
To the northwest of Baghdad, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, that operated south of Lake Thar Thar, blocked a known al Qaeda transit route and possible training and support areas where the military had not operated in great strength untill the operation in late June 2007.
As of June 22, 2007,To the west of Baghdad, elements of the 6th Regimental Combat Team conducted operations against enemy safe havens near Kharma, while they tried to continue to secure Fallujah. The 6th Regimental Combat Team was also well involved into the process of establishing Iraqi police precincts in Fallujah, where violence has significantly decreased since the surge began. Further west in Iraq, the 1st Brigade, 3rd Brigade Combat Team worked to secure operations in Ramadi in order to allow a return to normalcy in the city. In June 2007 Attacks in Ramadi reached a two-year low.
South of Baghdad, Multinational Division-Center, had four brigade combat teams. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, as part of Operation Marne Torch. Marne Torch initiated operations as part of Operation Phantom Thunder on June 16, 2007, to combate enemy safe havens along the Tigris River near Arab Jabour. One area near Arab Jabour had not seen a force in nearly three years untill the begining of the operation. The area was known for producing car and truck bombs that were sent north into Baghdad.
On the east side of the Tigris River, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division simultaneously conducted clearing operations as part of Marne Torch in the vicinity of Salman Pak, and also blocked enemy movement into Baghdad and into Baqubah.
In Multinational Division-Baghdad, the operation had five brigade combat teams operating inside Baghdad proper, and a sixth brigade combat team operating in Taji north of the city in June of 2007. Results of operations in Baghdad were mixed. Some parts of Baghdad were doing well and seeing progress while others still had high levels of violence. As of June 22, 2007, the focus was on clearing and controlling the security districts of Adhamiya in northeast, Rashid in the south, and portions of Mansour in the northwest. Those were the areas where forces were seeing the majority of violence inside of Baghdad. Those are the areas where sectarian fault lines exist, the convergence of AQI and Shi'a extremists.
In Multinational Division-North, three brigade combat teams conducted operations in the belts north and east of Baghdad, and three more brigade combat teams are elsewhere in the area. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Stryker began Operation Arrowhead Ripper on June 18, 2007 in Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, to defeat enemy in the city and secure the population by conducting detailed and deliberate clearing operations.
4th Brigade, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is focused between Baghdad and Baqubah in the Tarmiya and Khambanisad (ph) area. In this area, AQI operates and Shi'a extremists seek to also gain control.
As of June 22, 2007, over 750 people have been detained, 159 ememies have been killed in action, 128 caches have been found, 304 IEDs have been found, and 7 VBIEDs have been neutralized.