On the month of April in 2004, in the city of Habbaniyah, Iraq, a brutal and terrible act took place which ignited one of the bloodiest battles in the history of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Four Black Water security members were killed and publicly maimed. The resulting battle left a high casualty rate as well as hundreds of American service members being wounded. This is the story of the events that took place after the events in the city of Habbaniyah.
On the 31st of March, 2004, a convoy was an attacked. This is known as the Fallujah ambush. Four Americans from the Black Water contracting company were delivering for a catering company when it happened. Scott Helvenston, Mike Teague, Jerry Zovko and Wesley Batalona were killed in the ambush. Their bodies were burned and hung on a bridge in the streets of the city. It was aired nationally and created an outcry among their families as well as many other Americans to see such brutality (pbs.com, n.d.).
U.S. Military Commanders promised an overwhelming response. On the morning of Sunday, the 4th of April, 2004, platoons of Marines began to position themselves around the city. The following day the fighting began and quickly intensified. This day was the start of what is known as Operation Vigilant Resolve. It was an operation set to take back control of Fallujah from the insurgents (McCarthy, 2004).
U.S. forces experienced terrible attacks on their positions that consisted of things such as mortar fire and rocket propelled grenade fire. The source of the attacks came from areas all around them. Insurgents attacked from moving vehicles, civilian houses and mosques. The U.S. forces were attacked intensely with small arms direct fire as well as grenades. The fighting got so intense that an AC-130 had to be called upon in order to subdue the insurgents. As the fighting continued, U.S. Forces received more and more casualties. Destruction of the city kept adding up as well (cnn.com, 2004).
Insurgents fought back more and more as U.S. forces attempted to gain control of Fallujah. The howitzers and Gatling guns of the AC-130 continued to bombard enemy positions. The Marines’ strategy was to use snipers to kill insurgents during the battle. Members of the Tactical Psychological Operations Detachment 910 used psychological operations to lure insurgents out for the Marine snipers. Enemy and U.S Forces mortars, small arms fire and rocket propelled grenade fire raged on (Kaplan, 2004).
On the 8th of April, 2004, an Air Force F-16 fighter jet was called in and dropped a 200 pound laser guided bomb on the Abdul Aziz al Samarrai mosque. The result was up to forty Iraqis killed in the explosion. The fighting continued on as the death toll and destruction rose (McCarthy, 2004). Then on the 9th of April, 2004, an announcement was made that a unilateral cease fire would take place in order to negotiate between Iraq’s government, Fallujah insurgents and U.S. Forces. It would also mean...