Operation Steel Curtain

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Operation Steel Curtain (Operation Al Hajip Elfulathi) began November 5, 2005, with "[a]pproximately 2,500 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers with Regimental Combat Team-2 and 1,000 Iraqi Army Soldiers" in western Al Anbar, according to a news release by Multi-National Force-Iraq. "The objectives of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore security along the Iraqi-Syrian border and destroy the al Qaeda in Iraq terror network operating throughout Husaybah."

"The offensive is part of Operation Sayaid (Hunter) designed to deny al Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate in the Euphrates River Valley and to establish a joint permanent security presence along the Syrian border. By eliminating terrorist influence in and around Husaybah, Coalition and Iraqi security forces are providing a safe and secure environment to allow the Iraqi people in that region to vote in the upcoming Dec. 15 national elections." [1]


According to the November 5, 2005, Multi-National Force-Iraq news release: "Since early summer, the combat capabilities of the Iraqi forces have grown in Al Anbar province. Iraqi security forces now include almost two full infantry divisions of Iraqi Army Soldiers. During the past six months, two division headquarters have formed in the province, four brigade headquarters and ten infantry battalions have deployed to the Al Anbar to join the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq led insurgency. Operation Steel Curtain marks the first large-scale employment of multiple battalion-sized units of Iraqi Army forces in combined operations with Coalition Forces in the last year in al Anbar Province.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists have used the region’s porous borders to smuggle foreign fighters, money and equipment into the country to be used in their ongoing attacks against the Iraqi people and Coalition Forces. Terrorists continue to influence the local population of Husaybah through murder and intimidation and have vowed to prevent the citizens of Western Al Anbar Province from participating in the democratic process."

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