Featured News

Intelligence discoveries paint picture of enemy in Fallujah

14 Apr 2004 | Sgt. Jose E. Guillen

Marines operating in Fallujah are gaining a clearer picture of the enemy they face.  Intelligence gathered from enemy dead, daily patrols and documents is proving links between terrorists and former regime elements loyal to deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Marines of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division remain at the ready in the city.  The cordon of Fallujah is still in effect.  Fighting between Marines and terrorist forces has simmered during the unilateral suspension of offensive operations.  Still, occasional firefights are heard and Marines continue to refine their picture of who the enemy is.

"What we've discovered on the northern end of town are still people seemingly loyal to Saddam," said 1st Lt. Edward M. Solis, who has led numerous foot-patrols leading to the discovery of enemy intelligence.

Solis is the platoon commander of 1st Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. 

Some homes that Solis' Marines swept had pictures of Saddam hanging on their walls, telling the Marines some locals still had some reverence for the fallen dictator.

"If we suspect a family to be pro-Saddam, still latching onto the Ba'athist Party, and you find out they're former military, you realize what assets these insurgents have," Solis explained. 

Marines with 1st Platoon also recovered useful documents such as identification cards, birth certificates and countless pictures of Iraq's former dictator.  Each piece of information allowed a "connect-the-dots" map of what kind of enemy the Marines are facing.

"The 'intel' we've found were former military, friends of Saddam that participated in functions standard in this area, and a network of who's involved in terrorist and criminal attacks," Solis said.

Some of the intelligence has come from searching bodies of dead enemy fighters.

"When we walked up to a body of an insurgent shot the other day," Solis said  "He had paperwork indicating he was a former military mortarman, which tells us he might be bringing the mortar capabilities to the enemy.  He also had an AK-47 and binoculars."

The intelligence discoveries are evidence to Marines on the line that they are continually gaining ground against the enemy.  Sgt. Jeremy Miller, a squad leader with 1st Platoon, said the motivation of the platoon has been at an all-time high.

"They're excited about doing what they got to do," Miller said.  "The Marines can march through Fallujah from one side to the other, and keep pushing.  Morale is very high."

"If the enemy only knew of the will of our Marines they would've given up by now,"
Solis added.