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Encyclopedia > Operation Vigilant Resolve
Operation Vigilant Resolve
Part of the Post-invasion Iraq

A U.S. Marine from the 1st Marine Division mans an M-240G machine gun outside the city of Fallujah, Iraq, April 5, 2004.
Date April 04April 09, 2004
Location Fallujah, Iraq
Result Tactically indecisive; Insurgent strategic victory
Combatants
United States Iraqi insurgents
Commanders
James T. Conway Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Strength
1,200[1] 3,000 - 6,000
Casualties
83 KIA , WIA 90+ (U.S) [1] 615 military and civilian KIA
Iraq War
InvasionInsurgencySectarian Violence

Nasiriyah – Baghdad – Red Dawn – 1st Fallujah – Najaf – 2nd Fallujah – Matador – Steel Curtain – Al-Askari Mosque Occupation zones in Iraq as of September 2003 The post-invasion period in Iraq followed the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multinational coalition led by the United States, which overthrew the Baath Party government of Saddam Hussein. ... Image File history File links Npi040604a4b. ... The 1st Marine Division is the oldest, largest (active duty), and most decorated division-sized unit in the United States Marine Corps representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. ... This article is about the city of Fallujah in Iraq. ... April 4 is the 94th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (95th in leap years). ... April 9 is the 99th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (100th in leap years). ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the city of Fallujah in Iraq. ... Iraqi militants celebrating orders being given to the surrounding Coalition forces to stand down, Fallujah, May 1 2004. ... James Terry Conway is a Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps. ... Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Italy Poland Romania Australia Denmark others. ... Iraqi militants celebrating orders being given to the surrounding Coalition forces to stand down, Fallujah, May 1 2004. ... Following the Coalition-led invasion and war of Iraq, there has been an increased level of sectarian violence in Iraq. ... Combatants Iraq Coalition Forces: U.S Casualties 30-1000 killed[1] 33 KIA; 150 WIA The Battle of Nasiriyah occurred during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. ... In early April 2003, as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. forces led by American soldiers and Marines in M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles invaded Baghdad. ... Saddam shortly after capture. ... Combatants United States Iraqi Security Forces Iraqi insurgents Tawhid wal Jihad Commanders Maj. ... Combatants United States Marine Corps Iraqi insurgents Commanders Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Strength 1,000 Casualties 9 KIA,40 WIA 125+ military and civilian Fatalities, Unk WIA Operation Matador was a military offensive conducted by the United States Marine Corps, against insurgent positions in Iraqs northwestern Anbar province, which... Operation Steel Curtain was a military endeavor executed by coalition forces in early November 2005 to blunt the protrusion of Syrian forces crossing the border and joining the Iraqi insurgency. ... The Al Askari Mosque in Samarra before and after the February 2006 bombing. ...

Operation Vigilant Resolve, sometimes referred to as the First Battle of/for Fallujah was an abortive U.S. operation to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the 2003 occupation of Iraq. The April 2004 operation was motivated in part by the killing and mutilation of four private military contractors who were contracted by the Coalition, and partly by the fact that the city had become a major stronghold of anti-Coalition guerilla.[2] This article is about the city of Fallujah in Iraq. ... This article deals with the post-invasion period in Iraq and its occupation. ... 2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December Deaths in April • 18 Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara • 19 Norris McWhirter • 22 Pat Tillman • 24 Estée Lauder Other recent deaths Ongoing events EU Enlargement Exploration of Mars: Rovers Haiti Rebellion Reconstruction of Iraq – Occupation & Resistance Israeli... A private military contractor (PMC) is a corporation that provides armed forces trained in combat, private military, for other corporations, organizations, individuals and state military forces. ...

Contents


Events before the campaign

The roots of the situation the Coalition found in early April, 2004, can be traced back to the early days of the occupation of Iraq after the successful invasion. Local citizens, mainly leaders of tribal families and other important residents, spontaneously had elected a town council led by acting mayor Taha Bidaywi Hamed after the Ba'ath authorities had disbanded in the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein. Looting was rampant in the area at that time, and the town council was born from the necessity to organize something like a police force and get basic services, which were disrupted in the absence of a governing body, back to working state. As the town council, especially the mayor, was strongly pro-Coalition — indeed, there was no strong anti-Coalition sentiment at first — it was hoped by most residents that this improvised exercise in democracy would suffice to provide a base for cooperation with Coalition forces, so that an actual Coalition military presence in Fallujah could be avoided. Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: , [1]; born April 28, 1937[2]), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003, when he was deposed in the United States-led invasion of Iraq. ...


Relationships soured after a few days, however, as U.S. military detachments were stationed at the vacated Ba'ath Party headquarters and a military occupation administration sidelined the town council. Small-scale attacks on the troops led to the creation of the "Fallujah Protection Force" as a militia loyal to the Coalition. While the town council was not democratically legitimized by a formal, comprehensive ballot, it did in fact represent the sentiments of most of the local population, the tribal leaders that instrumental in setting up the council acting as spokesmen of their respective clans. Notably, contemporary news reports have residents describing the sidelining of the council as an "undemocratic" act by the occupying forces. Public sentiment in Fallujah rapidly swung from cautiously pro-Coalition to marked suspicion in mid-late April, 2003, and the increasing tension and restiveness of the population had the garrison commander impose a nightly curfew.


On the evening of April 28, 2003, a crowd of 200 people defied the curfew and gathered outside a secondary school that had been appropriated by the Coalition, demanding that the troops vacate the building and that it be reopened. Following the discharge of some demonstrators' firearms into the air, soldiers stationed at the roof of the building opened fire upon the crowd resulting in the deaths of 13 civilians. A protest against the killings two days later was also fired upon by US troops resulting in two more deaths. After these events, Fallujah soon became the most decidedly anti-Coalition major population center in Iraq. April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 247 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


By early 2004, the town was all but off-limits for Coalition troops. An underground "shadow administration" with ties to guerilla groups, mainly those led by former officers of the Iraqi armed forces, had established itself and ran everyday business. Coalition troops were fired upon or attacked with IEDs on a regular basis whenever they actually ventured into the town. Likewise, Fallujah Protection Force militiamen were often beaten up by rioters and their vehicles destroyed. In late March 2004, Fallujah had been effectively abandoned by Coalition troops, which maintained roadblocks around the city. IED is also an abbreviation for Intelligent Electronic Device IED is also an abbreviation for Intermittent explosive disorder A large cache of munitions found in Afghanistan in 2004. ...


On March 31, 2004, four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA were ambushed and killed by guerillas as they escorted a food transport through Fallujah [1]. Following the attack, an angry mob mutilated and burned the bodies, dragging them through the streets before they were hung on a bridge. This attack took place during a time when Marines were taking over responsibility for al-Anbar province from the U.S Army. The intended Marine strategy of foot patrols, less aggressive raids, humanitarian aid, and close cooperation with local leaders was suspended on orders to mount a military operation to clear guerillas from Fallujah.
March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... L. Paul Bremer flanked by private military contractors Private military contractors or private military companies (PMCs) are companies that provide logistics, manpower, and other expenditures for a military force. ... Blackwater USA is a United States private military contractor and security firm based in North Carolina. ... This article is about the city of Fallujah in Iraq. ... MOB may refer to: M.O.B., hip hop group Mail-order bride Man overboard Marching Owl Band Mobile Regional Airport Montreux-Oberland Bernois, Swiss railway Movable Object Block, used in computer graphics See also Mob The Mob This page expands a three-character combination which might be any or... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Disfigurement. ... The United States Army is the largest branch of the United States armed forces and has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... United States Marine Corps Emblem The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the second smallest of the five branches of the United States armed forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve Marines as of 2002. ... Humanitarian aid arriving by plane at Rinas Airport in Albania in the summer of 1999. ...


The campaign

On April 4, the U.S. Marines and Iraqi security forces launched a major assault in an attempt to regain the city. In the defense of Fallujah during the April 2004 siege by U.S marines, it was noted that insurgent forces used Soviet-style defense in depth tactics (this suggests that former members of the Iraqi Army, who were schooled in such tactics, organized Iraqi insurgency forces rather than foreign jihad volunteers who, arriving in strength over the summer months, would use tactics more akin to the mujehedin in Afghanistan). After three days of fighting with the U.S. Marines, the insurgents still held three-quarters of the city, despite the loss of a number of their defensive positions. Defence in depth is a military stategy sometimes also called elastic defence. ... Iraqi militants celebrating orders being given to the surrounding Coalition forces to stand down, Fallujah, May 1 2004. ...


Headed by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, American units surrounded the city with an aim towards retaking it. This set off wide-spread fighting throughout Central Iraq and along the Lower Euphrates, starting on the morning of 7 April 2004. An American helicopter fired a missile into a mosque rebels were using as a base, killing at least a dozen insurgents. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force is a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) of the United States Marine Corps primarily composed of the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Marine Logistics Group. ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mil (Russian Federation) Mi-8, one of the most common model of military helicopter in the world with more than 12 thousand units built, sixfold quantity comparing to production of the second most common model UH-1 Iroquois. ...


The resulting fighting spread throughout the country with various elements of the Iraqi insurgency taking advantage of the situation and commencing simultaneous operations against the Coalition forces; this period marked the emergence of the Mahdi Army militia of Shiite firebrand cleric Muqtada as-Sadr as a major armed faction which at that time actively participated in anti-Coalition operations, the happenings were also puncuated by a surge of Sunni rebellion in the city of Ramadi. During this period, a number of foreigners were captured. Some were killed outright, others were held as hostages in an attempt to barter for political or military concessions. Elements of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (the militia set up by the Coalition to form the core of a future Iraqi Army) also turned on the Coalition forces or simply abandoned their posts. Iraqi militants celebrating orders being given to the surrounding Coalition forces to stand down, Fallujah, May 1 2004. ... Members parade in Sadr City The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia, Mehdi Army or Jaish al Mahdi (Arabic جيش المهدي) , is a militia force created by the Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June of 2003. ... This article needs to be updated. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Mosque in downtown Ramadi RamădÄ« (الرمادي) is a city in central Iraq, about 100 kilometers west of Baghdad. ...


The rebels in Fallujah held on as the Americans tightened their noose on the city. Air and artillery bombardment rained on insurgent positions throughout the city, Spectre Gunships strafing targets with their powerful gatling guns a number of times. U.S. snipers kept insurgents at bay, their night vision technology providing them with an important tactical edge. The U.S. attacks were taking a great toll on civillians as well as the insurgents however, and on April 9, the combat operations at Fallujah were halted in the face of protests by the Iraqi authorities. The Coalition forces, which had by then only managed to gain a foothold in the industrial district to the south of the city proper, declared a unilateral ceasefire. As a consequence, much-needed humanitarian relief which had been held up by the fighting and blockade finally managed to enter the city, notably a major convoy organized by private citizens, businessmen and clerics from Baghdad as a joint Shi'a-Sunni effort. Several hundred rebel fighters had been killed in the U.S. assault, but their grip on the city remained steadfast. The end of major operations for the time being led to complex negotiations between various Iraqi elements and the Coalition forces, punctuated by occasional exchanges of fire. AIR is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below: The Annals of Improbable Research, a monthly magazine devoted to scientific humour All India Radio - Indias Government Radio service AIR, a popular electronica band from France. ... A 155 mm artillery shell fired by a United States 11th Marine regiment M-198 howitzer Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ... Gatling gun illustrated in an 1885 encyclopedia in Swedish http://www. ... This article is about the military occupation. ... Night-vision is seeing in the dark. ... A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war, or any armed conflict, where each side of the conflict agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. ...


On April 19, the ceasefire seemed to be strengthened with a plan to reintroduce joint US/Iraqi patrols into the city. Over time this arrangement broke down and the city remained a major center of opposition to the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. Additionally, the composition of the armed groups in Fallujah changed during the following months, shifting from domination by secular, nationalist and ex-Ba'athist groups towards a marked influence of warlords with ties to organized crime and groups following a radical Wahhabi stance.


On May 1, 2004, Marines withdrew from the city of Fallujah , under the guise that the city was being turned over to Iraqi Security Forces, thus effectively ending Operation Vigilant Resolve. May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  • After November 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve would be more commonly referred to as the First Battle of Fallujah.

Aftermath

The events that began in early April, 2004, mark the beginning of the decline in political significance of the "Saddam loyalist" faction of guerilla groups in Iraq (more accurately described as ex-Ba'athist/Sunni secular nationalist) and the emergence of Wahhabi-influenced groups with a major emphasis on terrorist tactics and recruiting significant numbers of foreign volunteers, such as the faction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as a major player in the Iraq conflict. They also sparked off the campaigns to kidnap and/or kill foreigners and Iraqis suspected of collaboration with the occupying military forces, and later the interim government. It was highlighted that the attempts to set up indigenious police and (para)military forces had only been successful on paper, with the reliability of these units being doubtful at best (excepting the "Kurdish Special Forces", the handpicked and strongly loyal bodyguard units of various Kurdish leaders, which saw action in the Fallujah operations). Moreover, the cooperation between guerilla groups all along the Middle and Lower Euphrates valley illustrated that the main dividing lines in post-invasion Iraq were less between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims, but rather between pro- and anti-Coalition factions; over the summer of 2004, this changed to include increasing tensions between secularist Sunni and conservative and radical Sunni and Shi'a Islamist factions. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. ...


During the April battles, some 615 Iraqis were killed along with 120 U.S. troops.[1] It is not known how many of the Iraqi casualties are civilians; Since the US military gave a 48 hour warning to civilians to leave, it believes that combatant casualties made up most of those killed. However It must be remembered that even after the warning was given over 30,000 civilians were still in the city, as a result it is impossible to accurately gauge which casualties were combatants or noncombatants. The most common cause of death were injuries suffered in airstrikes; as ground intelligence available to Coalition forces was extremely limited, a considerable number of these attacks hit targets of no military significance. Many of those that died were buried on a former football stadium that became locally known as the Martyrs' Cemetery.

See also: Operation Phantom Fury

Combatants United States Iraqi Security Forces Iraqi insurgents Tawhid wal Jihad Commanders Maj. ...

Participating Units

1st Battalion 5th Marines (1/5) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Pendleton, California consisting of approximately 1000 Marines and Sailors. ... 2nd Battalion 1st Marines (2/1) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Pendleton, California consisting of approximately 1000 Marines and Sailors. ... 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. ... The 3rd Battalion 4th Marine Regiment (3/4) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps with a nickname of Darkside. They are based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and consist of approximately 1000 Marines. ... The 1st Tank Battalion is an armored battalion of the United States Marine Corps which is based out of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. ... Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161 (HMM-161) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of CH-46E Sea Knight transport helicopters. ... Official force name Marine Light Attacks Helicopter Squadron 775 Other names Coyotes Branch United States Marine Corps Chain of Command 4th Marine Aircraft Wing Specializations Close Air Support, Assault Support, Air Interdiction, Aerial Reconnaissance, Headquarters Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Motto N/A. Equipment AH-1W SuperCobra UH-1N Creation... Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 (HMLA-167) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Huey utility helicopters. ... Strike Fighter Squadron 131 {VFA-131), also known as the Wildcats, are a United States Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Guardian Unlimited
  2. ^ Operation Vigilant Resolve, GlobalSecurity.org.

References

  • Iraq: The Siege of Falluja, Guardian Unlimited. Detailed interactive on the Fallujah battles.

External resources

  • Hardball with Chris Matthews, April 7, 2004. MSNBC transcript of a television report providing information on Operation Vigilant Resolve and the rest of the spring uprisings.
  • Vigilant Resolve: Remembering the First Siege of Fallujah with Dahr Jamail . An op-ed highly critical of US media treatment of the operations which provides some details on the 2003 developments.
  • Image of the "Martyrs' Cemetery"

  Results from FactBites:
 
First Battle of Fallujah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1900 words)
The First Battle of Fallujah, sometimes referred to as Operation Vigilant Resolve, was an unsuccessful attempt by US troops to recapture the city of Fallujah in April 2004, as part of the occupation of Iraq.
The chief catalyst for the operation was the highly-publicized killing and mutilation of four Blackwater private military contractors,
Vigilant Resolve: Remembering the First Siege of Fallujah with Dahr Jamail.
Fallujah Vigilant Resolve (485 words)
Because the events in Fallujah are current and ongoing, we used a lot of daily news imagery to create the art for Operation Vigilant Resolve and achieve an accurate representation of the area.
Operation Vigilant Resolve was a month-long siege of a volatile city.
The operation didn’t have big highlights so much as a constant grinding down of the enemy by pressing in on them, restricting their movement, and cutting their external supply lines.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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