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The residents of Fallujah are asking the authorities to increase the number of voters’ registration offices in the city as the existing ones are not enough to finish the registration process of all eligible voters before the day of the referendum planned for October 15â€¦.
Well, the way things change in Iraq can be really surprising sometimes; just try to compare between Fallujah 12 months ago and today’s Fallujah!
I remember walking through the markets on the northwest part of town (near the bridge where they hung those American contractors) day after day and detaining or killing weapons and explosives dealers. We never found them all because they were threatening the local merchants that they would kill them and their families if they gave up their caches to the Americans. Many of them only supported the insurgency to avoid killing their families and losing everything.
I’ll never forget running through crowded markets and hoping that none of these children were injured by these guys. We were having trouble convincing the command that this place needed to be searched thoroughly. Unfortunately, the Brigade leadership at the time thought that what we had planned was too aggressive and scrapped the idea. Since the infantry and scouts weren’t authorized, I got with our PSYOPS team and we planned a joint raid on the weapons market.
We came in from different approaches after dismounting about a mile away and marched through alleys and backways so that no spotters could identify us. It worked. As we approached the market, we picked up our pace and sure enough the bad guys were still there. We caught them by surprise. We chased them down, but couldn’t catch any of them in the crowded market. No shots were fired, either, though someone in the crowd did toss a grenade (probably a flash/bang) which didn’t hit or injure anyone. We did, however, capture hundreds of blasting caps, thousands of rounds, explosives, and weapons. We almost didn’t have room for it all. If only the Brigade had agreed to send in the infantry or scouts with us, we’d have been so much more successful. This operation only had about 10 soldiers on it. It’s an operation I dubbed “Spooky Voodoolicious” after both our callsigns.