Ivy Lightning

Americans launch new sweep in Iraq

The 4th ID has launched a new operation, code-named “Ivy Lightning,” in Iraq according to this MSNBC.com story. The operation is in response to continuing attacks agains US troops.

“Ivy Lightning is a surgical strike in remote towns … to isolate and capture non-compliant forces and former regime loyalists who are planning attacks against coalition forces,” Lt.-Col. William MacDonald told reporters in Tikrit.
He said the operation was focusing on the area around Qara Tappa, about 80 miles north of Baghdad. In the initial hours of the sweep, about a dozen suspects were apprehended and five weapons caches seized, officials said.

The last major 4th ID operation, “Ivy Serpent,” grew into a major multi-division campaign that netted hundreds of suspected irregular fighters and thousands of weapons. The attacks that killed Uday and Qusay were made at the end of the campaign, although I don’t think they were directly related to it.

We can expect increased US casualties as the operation unfolds, especially if it grows beyond it’s initial limited scope. As our guys move in on suspected fighters, they are much more likely to be attacked. But most previous efforts have been solid, if usually unspectacular, successes. We’ll see.