Mohammed at Iraq The Model has posted that Operation Lightning has started:
Yesterday operation lightning began and we noticed an excessive presence of the Iraqi army and police forces on the streets and main squares in Baghdad with an obvious readiness for confronting the terrorists.
It’s become clear that the phenomenon of seeing terrorists taking control of streets and government buildings in Baghdad had diminished long time ago but it’s not completely over yet. And I guess that operation lightning will mobilize the terrorists out of their hides because awaiting clashing with the security forces is worse (from the terrorists point of view) is much worse than the fight itself and they realize that having their hides assaulted one at a time will render them weaker as they would have to fight in much smaller groups.
Baghdad had witnessed high activity for the terrorists in the western part of the city which is geographically close to Anbar province; around a hundred armed men tried to control a police station where many of the most dangerous criminals were kept in custody and it seems that one of the prisoners is of significant value to the terrorists and my assumption is that the police force in charge wasn?t aware of the importance of that prisoner.
The attackers detonated a number of car bombs in the nearby intersections apparently in an attempt to prevent Iraqi or American reinforcements from reaching the operation scene while they attacked the police station with mortars and RPGs.
The battle lasted for more than 2 hours and helicopters and jet fighters attended the scene and eye witnesses said that some f-16’s patrolled the area at very low altitudes but didn’t fire at anything.
The policemen fought bravely and defended their station and the attack was successfully repelled after a number of the attackers got killed while the rest fled the area but additional army and police forces blocked the adjacent streets and started chasing the terrorists.
According to news sources in Baghdad, hundreds (nearly 500) suspects were captured in the 1st 24 hours of operation lightning and many weapons were confiscated; some were hidden in caches while others were found during inspecting vehicles in checkpoints.
If we follow the curve of the terrorists power we’ll find that the curve is going down in general and I believe that they cannot win the battle on the strategic or the tactical level.
The illusion of the “resistance” had anaesthetized many people that they even forgot all logical and scientific calculations and I don’t know how those people are going to deal with the facts when the terrorists are completely defeated.
We’ve been challenged in our home and we cannot afford to runaway from the challenges and keep weeping about the past. It’s our battle and it’s a battle for existence and that’s why we must fight it to the end.
The Daily Telegraph has a little more:
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have launched their biggest security crackdown since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the start of Operation Lightning, a sweep by 40,000 Iraqi troops who will seal off Baghdad and hunt for insurgents.
Backed by the 10,000 US troops in the capital, Iraqi soldiers would block major routes into Baghdad and search the city district by district, looking for foreign Arab fighters and Iraqi guerrillas, Iraqi officials said.
Bit more here with news they nabbed a high ranking Saddam official:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Police fought pitched battles with insurgents Sunday as thousands of security forces backed by American troops began “Operation Lightning,” sweeping through Baghdad’s streets to flush out militants responsible for killing more than 720 people since Iraq’s new government was announced in April.
Insurgents killed at least 30 people, including a British soldier, and a senior U.S. military intelligence official acknowledged there are few indications they “are packing their bags.”
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for nearly all the attacks.
In the biggest coup of Operation Lightning, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers arrested a former general in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service who was also a member of his Fedayeen secret police. The arrest came during a raid in western Baghdad, the scene of some of Sunday’s heaviest fighting.
“He now leads the military wings of several terror cells operating in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah,” the military said. It did not release his name or provide further details.
There is also news that that they arrested a Sunni leader accidently but quicky released him and apologized plus the terrorists triggered a few car bombs in the last few hours. Neither is surprising, sometimes when your dealing with mass arrests a few mistakes are made identifying people but it was quickly resolved. As far as the car bombs, the last gasps of a failed terrorist insurgency