FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20080108-03
January 8, 2008
Multi-National Corps – Iraq commences Phantom Phoenix
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO
BAGHDAD – Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multi-National Corps – Iraq, today announced the beginning of Operation Phantom Phoenix.
The operation is a series of joint Iraqi and Coalition division- and brigade-level operations to pursue and neutralize remaining al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist elements. Phantom Phoenix will synchronize lethal and non-lethal effects to exploit recent security gains and disrupt terrorist support zones and enemy command and control.
“Working closely with the Iraqi Security Forces, we will continue to pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuary,” Odierno said. “Iraqi citizens continue to reject extremist elements. We are determined not to allow these brutal elements to have respite anywhere in Iraq.”
Watch The Long War Journal for further developments and analysis. I suspect that many of these operations will be taking place in and around Diyala province, involving the 2nd SCR out of Vilseck and Iraqi Army forces in the area.
Update 9 JAN from The Long War Journal:
Coalition and Iraqi security forces have launched Operation Iron Harvest, the latest offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq in Diyala province. "Operations are now being concentrated in Miqdadiyah," according to a press release from Multinational Division Iraq. ...
Over two brigades of US forces along with an unspecified number of Iraqi troops are involved in the Miqdadiyah operation. ...
Operation Iron Harvest is subordinate to Phantom Phoenix. Operation Phantom Phoenix is occurring in the area of operations for Multinational Division North, which spans the provinces of Diyala, Salahadin, Ninewa, and Tamin (Kirkuk). There are over 50,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, 80,000 Iraqi Police, 24,000 US soldiers, and 14,094 members of the Concerned Local Citizens operating in Multinational Division North's area of operations.