Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Surge is Working II

60 Miles north of Baghdad

a major offensive to drive Al Qaeda in Iraq from Diyala province—was underway, and the troops from Blackfoot Company were in the vanguard, tasked with securing the area for their comrades in the rear...

The insurgents holed up here remain tenacious, unleashing suicide bombers and planting lethal explosives that can blow anything off the road. And they've upped the ante. A severed head turned up last week in a deserted market in Shakarat, a mere 500 yards from the U.S. military's combat outpost.

Al Qaeda apparently got wind of the offensive beforehand; some locals say they were tipped off by Iraqi Army sources. The insurgents set booby traps, then disappeared.

Calm didn't last long. A 50-pound IED rocked the house and sent a 25-ton Army vehicle bouncing into the air. Smoke billowed, and we took cover while the company rushed out to investigate. Inside the vehicle, four soldiers and a freelance reporter were injured. "It blew up right under my feet," the writer, Rick Tomkins, told me. "I was just holding my breath wondering if there would be another blast." The soldiers found no Qaeda operatives. Like phantoms, the culprits had slipped away yet again

In Diyala, A New Offensive (Newsweek)

Oh yeah, the surge is working for sure. They can't even find the bad guys. Flying HMMV's and severed heads, that's certainly evidence that the surge is working.