Military Wiki
2008 Al-Qaeda offensive in Iraq
Part of the Post-invasion Iraq
DateApril 15, 2008 - May 19, 2008
Result Indecisive
United States United States Army
Flag of Iraq.svg New Iraqi Army
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg al-Qaeda in Iraq
Commanders and leaders
United States Gen. David Petraeus Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg Ayyub al-Masri
Iraqi Security Forces
407,000 (180,000 Army and 227,000 Police)[3]
Awakening Council militias
850[5] – 1,000+[6]
Casualties and losses
100+ soldiers, policemen and militiamen killed Dozens of fighters and suicide bombers killed
250+ civilians killed

The 2008 Al-Qaeda offensive in Iraq refers to a month-long offensive conducted by Al-Qaeda in Iraq against Coalition troops in Iraq in 2008.[7]

The offensive officially started on April 19, 2008, when the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ayyub al-Masri, called for a month-long offensive against U.S. and Iraqi forces. However, it is generally considered[citation needed] to have started four days earlier when a series of suicide bombings in four major cities killed nearly 60 people.

Shortly following al-Masri's announcement a steady bombing campaign commenced against Coalition forces. The series of bombings raised fears that remaining Sunni insurgents, that were still fighting the central government, were regrouping following their major defeat during Operation Phantom Phoenix earlier that year that left them with only one mayor urban stronghold in the north, in Mosul.

The offensive ended after a month with no clear gains for either side.

Timeline of major attacks during the offensive

April 15, 2008: In Baquba, as many as 53 people were killed and at least 70 more were wounded during a car bombing near the courthouse.[8] A suicide bomber killed 13 people and injured 20 more outside a kebab restaurant in Ramadi.[9] Five policemen were killed and four more were wounded during a suicide bombing at a checkpoint in the Hamidhiya area of Ramadi.[10] In Mosul, a double car bombing killed three people and wounded at least 16 people.[11] In Baghdad, a car bomb targeting a police patrol killed four people and wounded 15 in a central neighborhood.[8]

April 17, 2008: Near Tuz Khormato in the village of al-Bu Mohammed, at least 50 people were killed and 55 more were wounded when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives at a funeral for two U.S.-allied militia members killed a day earlier. The older bomber was dressed in traditional garb and allowed to enter the funeral freely.[12]

April 18, 2008: A suicide bomber attacked a U.S. military patrol near Tikrit killing one soldier.[13]

April 21, 2008: A female suicide bomber attacked a U.S.-allied militia post, killing four people and wounding five others in Baquba.[14]

April 22, 2008: A suicide car bomber at a checkpoint near Ramadi killed two U.S. Marines and wounded three more. Two policemen and 24 civilians were also wounded. A second car bombing, this one at a police station in the city, wounded 20 people, including women and policemen.[15] In Jalawla, a female suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 17 at a police station.[16]

April 23, 2008: A coordinated attack in Mosul left four dead and nine injured. First, a suicide bomber detonated his vest. When first responders arrived a car bomb blasted them.[17]

April 25, 2008: A series of bombings hit Mosul. Six people were killed, including two policemen, and five others were wounded during a suicide car bombing. Another suicide car bomber killed three and wounded six at an Iraqi army checkpoint. A suicide fuel truck bomber wounded 40 at an Iraqi army base. A car bomb in the Danadan neighborhood wounded three people.[18][19]

April 27, 2008: Another suicide bombing was conducted in Mosul which left four policemen dead.[20]

April 29, 2008: A female suicide bomber killed two U.S.-allied militiamen and wounded ten others in Baquba.[21] Meanwhile another female suicide bomber in al-Saldiya killed one person and injured five people, including the district chief.[21]

April 30, 2008: A U.S. soldier was killed in an explosion near Mosul.[22]

May 1, 2008: A female suicide bomber killed 45 people and wounded 76 others in Balad Ruz. After the bomber struck a wedding convoy, another suicide bomber targeted the first responders who arrived on the scene.[23] A car bomb targeting a U.S. patrol killed ten and wounded 26 others near Camp Sara in Baghdad, one U.S. soldier was among the dead and three American soldiers were wounded.[24]

May 2, 2008: Insurgents infiltrated across the Syrian border into Al Anbar province and rounded up and beheaded 11 policemen, along with a son of one of them, from the al-Rimana police station in the area of the border city of Al-Qaim.[25] Four U.S. Marines were killed when their vehicle drove over an IED in al-Anbar province.[26] Also, two Georgian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Diyala province.[27]

May 5, 2008: Insurgents attacked an Iraqi Army checkpoint in Balad Ruz killing 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounding 13.[28]

May 13, 2008: A roadside bomb in Mosul killed five Iraqi soldiers.[citation needed] May 14, 2008: A suicide bomber attacked a Sunni funeral west of Baghdad killing 22 people. A teenage girl, who was strapped with an explosive belt, blew up near Yusifiyah, targeting an Iraqi Army patrol, leaving an Iraqi Army captain dead and seven other soldiers wounded.[29]

May 16, 2008: A suicide car bomber attacked a Fallujah police station. Four policemen were killed and nine others were wounded.[30]

May 18, 2008: A car bomb hit an Iraqi Army patrol in the Zayouna district of Baghdad killing two soldiers and wounding four others.[citation needed] May 19, 2008: In the town of Baaj, 130 kilometers from Mosul, gunmen ambushed a bus carrying police recruits killing 11 of them.[31]


  1. "Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq". By T. Christian Miller. Los Angeles Times. July 4, 2007.
  2. "Contractor deaths add up in Iraq". By Michelle Roberts. Deseret Morning News. Feb. 24, 2007.
  3. Collins, C. (August 19, 2007) "U.S. says Iranians train Iraqi insurgents," McClatchy Newspapers
  4. A Dark Side to Iraq 'Awakening' Groups
  5. Tilghman, A. (October, 2007) "The Myth of AQI" Washington Monthly
  6. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq", (U.S. State Department, 'Country Reports on Terrorism', 2005).
  7. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq calls for one-month offensive". CBC News. April 20, 2008. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 15
  9. Bombings kill nearly 60 in Sunni areas of Iraq
  10. Aswat Aliraq
  11. Aswat Aliraq
  12. IRAQ WRAPUP 6-Suicide bomber kills 50 at Iraq funeral
  13. Multi-National Force - Iraq - MND-N Soldier attacked in Salah ad Din
  14. IRAQ WRAPUP 2-Iraq to confront militias after Sadr threat
  15. Multi-National Force - Iraq - Marines attacked by SVBIED near Ramadi
  16. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 22
  17. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 23
  18. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 26
  19. "Suicide bombers, explosions rock Iraq -". CNN. April 26, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  20. Aswat Aliraq
  21. 21.0 21.1 Aswat Aliraq
  23. "Iraqi lawmakers confront Iran with 'evidence' of militia backing -". CNN. May 1, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  24. Police: Car bomb kills at least 9 in Baghdad
  25. Friday: 52 Iraqis Killed, 157 Wounded -
  26. Four U.S. Marines killed in Iraq
  27. Georgia says two soldiers killed in Iraq
  28. Ten Iraqi soldiers slain in checkpoint attack
  29. "Bombing at Iraq funeral kills 20". BBC News. May 14, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  30. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, May 16
  31. Monday: 29 Iraqis Killed, 39 Wounded -

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