At this point in Iraq’s ongoing civil strife, one has to wonder what all the grieving families of U.S. military personnel during the Iraq War (2003-11) are now think of their son’s, daughter’s, wife’s, husband’s ultimate sacrifice?
One of the biggest battles of that war was the town of Fallujah where hundreds of our military died in the fighting to wrest control from the enemy.
Today, al-Qaida-linked militants hold control of much of the Iraqi city and other nearby towns, fighting off efforts by troops with air support to regain control, according to a witness.
The al-Qaida fighters have captured American military equipment used by the the U.S. Marines and given to Fallujah police. Their headquarters were taken and now there’s no sign of government forces inside Fallujah.
The entire situation is reminiscent of Vietnam after the American pullout in 1975.
Although the military has carried out air strikes targeting suspected al-Qaida fighters, according to Al Jazeera, the fight seems to be in vain with al-Qaida providing overwhelming odds.
Fallujah is notorious among American Marines from 2004 when insurgents killed four American security contractors and hung their burned bodies from a bridge. It became the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq War. Over 100 U.S. Marines were killed and hundreds wounded in the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.
To late to make a difference, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent reinforcements on Jan. 1 to expel militants from Fallujah and nearby Ramadi. 2013 has been the most bloody for civilian casualties in five years.
The sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has not changed since before the U.S. went to war in Iraq over ten –years ago.
Meanwhile, President Obama has declined to intervene directly, but may if the U.S. comes under increasing pressure to contain the fallout from that conflict. That would most likely happen if al-Qaida militants gain a foothold in western Iraq, according to Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
Ambassador Crocker said, “If al-Qaida manages to really take hold of western Iraq, that’s a pretty substantial base on Arab territory, where they’d have security and the space to start thinking about operations wherever they want to think about. It’s exactly what they had in Afghanistan before 9/11.”
You wonder what all the families of dead servicemen from the Iraq War are thinking now.
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