Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tal Afar

Some boys I know (including one who saved me from an ass-whuppin by a French Foreign Legion gent) have been leading the offensive in Tal Afar. One of the major units involved, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, spent a lot of time training for the challenges of Iraq and understood the unique requirements of the mission. They focused on negotiation techniques, dealing with civil unrest and urban fighting in the training, and based on the results at Tal Afar it seems they trained well.

The WSJ reports that one of the big successes of the operation was the inclusion of Iraqi forces: The Tal Afar operation has been a sweeping success for the Iraqi Security Forces in many ways. There is an Iraqi Army Brigade headquarters with four infantry battalions, a Special Police Commando Brigade headquarters with two battalions, and an Army Transportation battalion in the fight up there. The Police Commandos and one of the Army battalions were flown there by the Iraqi Air Force's own C-130 fleet executing their first combat support missions.