Military Wiki
Operation Phantom Thunder
Part of the Iraq War
American soldier during firefight in Adhamiyah, Baghdad (Operation Phantom Thunder).jpg
A cloud of smoke and dust envelopes a U.S. soldier seconds after he fired an AT-4 anti-tank weapon at an insurgent position during fighting in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood.
Date16 June 2007 – 14 August 2007
Result Coalition strategic victory
(Large territories previously held by insurgents come under coalition control; Operations continue with operation Phantom Strike)

United States United States
Flag of Iraq 2004-2008.svg New Iraqi Army
Flag of Iraq 2004-2008.svg 1920 Revolution Brigade[1]
Flag of Iraq 2004-2008.svg Awakening movements in Iraq[2]

Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga[3]

Iraqi Insurgency
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg Al-Qaeda in Iraq:

Flag of The Islamic State of Iraq.jpg Islamic State of Iraq
Commanders and leaders
United States Gen. David Petraeus
United StatesLt. Gen. Raymond Odierno
Flag of The Islamic State of Iraq.jpg Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg Abu Ayyub al-Masri

~28,000 US/Iraqi Forces

2,100 Peshmerga
Casualties and losses
140 killed (U.S.),
220 killed (Iraqi security forces),
20 killed (U.S.-allied Iraqi militia),[4]
1 OH-58 Kiowa and
1 AH-64 Apache shot down
1,196 killed (46 bombers),
6,702 captured,
51 boats destroyed,
1,113 weapons caches destroyed,
382 high value individuals captured or killed,
2,299 IEDs cleared,
52 VBIEDS neutralized,
142 total Battalion-level Joint Operations[4][5][6][7]

Stryker soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, prepare to enter a mud stall during the clearing of a village in the outskirts of Baqouba, Iraq, 19 June 2007.

Operation Phantom Thunder began on 16 June 2007, when Multi-National Force-Iraq launched major offensive operations against al-Qaeda and other extremist terrorists operating throughout Iraq. Operation Phantom Thunder was a corps level operation, including Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Diyala Province, Operation Marne Torch and Operation Commando Eagle in Babil Province, Operation Fardh al-Qanoon in Baghdad, Operation Alljah in Anbar Governorate Province, and continuing special forces actions against the Mahdi Army in southern Iraq and against Al-Qaeda leadership throughout the country.[8] The operation was one of the biggest military operations in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.[9]


From January to June 2007, as part of the "surge", an additional five U.S. brigades arrived in Iraq and were deployed throughout the Baghdad Belts in preparation for the upcoming operation. At the same time, U.S. forces launched "shaping" operations to set the conditions for the operation.[10]

On 14 June, the Diyala Operational Command was established, an Iraqi corps-level command allowing coordination between Iraqi security forces throughout Diyala.[11]

The Operation

U.S. and Iraqi forces launched attacks on Baghdad's northern and southern flanks mid-June to clear out Sunni insurgents, al-Qaida fighters and Shiite militiamen who had fled the capital and Anbar during the four-month-old security operation. The U.S. wanted to take advantage of the arrival of the final brigade of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to open the concerted attacks.

Operation "Law and Order"

Operation Law and Order had already began on 14 February in an attempt to take back Baghdad which had come more than 70 percent under insurgent control. It became part of Phantom Thunder when that operation started and during the period of Phantom Thunder 311 insurgents, including 26 bombers, were killed in fighting in Baghdad.

Operation "Marne Torch"

Operation Marne Torch began on 16 June in the Arab Jabour and Salman Pak area, conducted by the new Multinational Division Central. Arab Jabour, being only 20 kilometers southeast from Baghdad, is a major transit point for insurgent forces in and out of Baghdad. By 14 August, 2,500 Coalition and Iraqi forces had detained more than five dozen suspected extremists, destroyed 51 boats, killed 88 terrorists and discovered and destroyed 51 weapons caches.[12]

Operation "Arrowhead Ripper"

Operation Arrowhead Ripper began on 18 June, when Multi-National Division-North commenced offensive operations against Al-Qaeda positions in Baquba in Diyala province where fighting had already been going on for months. The operation started with air assaults under the cover of darkness in Baquba. Heavy street fighting lasted throughout the first day of the operation, mainly in the center of the city and around the main city market. On 22 June, Coalition attack helicopters killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen and the vehicle they were using southwest of Khalis in Diyala province.[13] By 19 August, at least 227 insurgents had been killed in Baquba.[14]

Operation "Commando Eagle"

Operation Commando Eagle began on 21 June in the Mahmudiyah region southwest of Baghdad, conducted by Multinational Division Central. This region contains the notorious Triangle of Death and was the location where three US soldiers were kidnapped in mid-May 2007.[14] The operation has so far resulted in 31 detainees and the seizure of multiple large weapons caches. The operation was described as "a mix of helicopter borne air assaults and Humvee-mounted movements."[15]

Operation "Alljah"

Operation Alljah was being conducted by Multi-National Forces West. In the western Al Anbar Governorate province operations attacked insurgent supply lines and weapons caches, targeting the regions of Fallujah, Karma and Thar Thar. Commanders of the operation expressed belief that Fallujah would be cleared by August and that the regions of Karma and Thar Thar would be cleared by July.[16] On 17 June, a raid near Karma killed a known Libyan Al-Qaeda fighter and six of his aides and on 21 June six al-Qaeda members were killed and five were detained during early-morning raids also near Karma. Also on 23 June, a U.S. airstrike killed five suspects and destroyed their car bomb near Fallujah. Insurgents also struck back in Fallujah with two suicide bombings and an attack on an off-duty policeman that left four policemen dead on 22 June. On 29 June, U.S. forces killed a senior al-Qaeda leader east of Fallujah. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Masri, an Egyptian, was a veteran of both battles of Fallujah. On 6 July a raid west of Fallujah resulted in the killing of an Al-Qaeda in Iraq battalion commander and two of his men and the captured of two more insurgents.[17][17][18][19][20][21]

Actions taken against the Mahdi Army

On 21 June, a joint Iraqi-American operation was under way near Hilla to capture or kill members of Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.[22] Iraqi Special Forces raided Sadr City and captured a “key insurgent leader” on 20 June, along with two associates.[14]

Additional operations

Numerous smaller operations had also been conducted against insurgents, which included attacks on retreating insurgent forces from Baquba in the town of Khalis and other insurgents targets throughout Diyala province. In the fighting in Diyala province an additional 234 insurgents were killed by 14 August beside those killed in operation Arrowhead Ripper, mainly in clashes in and around the town of Khalis. The fierces of the clashes happened when the U.S.-allied insurgent group 1920th revolution brigade and Al-Qaeda fought a battle at Shrween village in Muqdadiya on 4 July killing 20 members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.[23]

The Operation ends

On 14 August, it was announced that the operation ended. Coalition and Iraqi security forces pushed into areas previously not under their control, and they also ejected insurgent groups from their strongholds in Northern Babil, eastern Anbar and Diyala provinces and on the southern outskirts of Baghdad. During the operation, Iraqi and Coalition forces conducted intelligence raids against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian-backed cells nationwide, with a heavy emphasis on cells in Baghdad, Diyala, and central and northern Iraq. Operation Arrowhead Ripper continued for another five days until 19 August with more intense street fighting in Baquba. The operations continued into operation Phantom Strike.[24]

Military units involved

MNF-I map showing disposition of Coalition forces prior to the launch of Operation Phantom Thunder

US forces reported to be involved were
Iraqi forces reported to be involved were

See also


  1. The Battle of Baqubah I - The Long War Journal
  2. Michael Yon : Online Magazine » Blog Archive » Be Not Afraid
  3. The Progress of the Peshmerga Forces and their role in post-2003 Iraq
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Report: Sunnis attack village near Baghdad". USA Today. 10 July 2007. 
  5. One Week of Operation Phantom Thunder - The Long War Journal
  6. Qaeda fiercely resisting US-Iraqi offensive - Iraq News -Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network
  7. Multi-National Force - Iraq - 20 terrorists killed, 20 detained during Operation Saber Guardian
  8. Current Press Releases - MISSING SOLDIERS RECOVERED
  9. Yates, Dean (21 June 2007). "10,000 US troops launch major offensive in Iraq". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  10. Operation Phantom Thunder | Institute for the Study of War
  11. The Battle of Iraq – 2007 - The Long War Journal
  12. Multi-National Force - Iraq - MND-C begins new offensive operations
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Operation Phantom Thunder: The Battle of Iraq - The Long War Journal
  15. Multi-National Force - Iraq - Operation Commando Eagle starts off strong
  17. 17.0 17.1 Multi-National Force - Iraq - Al-Qaeda foreign fighter killed
  18. Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, June 23
  19. Multi-National Force - Iraq - Six al-Qaeda killed, five detained near Karmah
  20. Aswat Aliraq
  21. Multi-National Force - Iraq - Another senior al-Qaeda leader identified, killed
  22. Rubin, Alissa J. (22 June 2007). "14 Americans Are Killed in Combat in 2 Days". The New York Times. 
  23. McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/04/2007 |Roundup of daily violence, Wednesday 4 July 2007
  24. Stryker Brigade News: Operation Phantom Strike

External links

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