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Mission 18 - Force Background & Histories
al Qaeda: The Battle for Mosul
Friendly Forces

Task Force Olympia

Headquartered at Fort Lewis, Washington, TF Olympia draws its name from the capital of the state. Created by the Army Chief of Staff on December 19, 2003, TF Olympia commands Coalition forces in northern Iraq in the provinces of Ninevah, Irbil, and Dahuk. Its primary staff is drawn from ? Corps, and includes reps from the US Army, the Marines, and Australian Army soldiers. Its units include the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 3-17 Air Cavalry Squadron, the Multi-Component 44th Corps Support Battalion, and an Albanian Commando Company. Also under TF Olympiaís control are units from the Iraqi Armed Forces, Iraq Civil Defense Corps, Iraq Border Police Battalions, and Iraqi Facility Protection Security Forces. ? Corps was activated during World War I, where it distinguished itself during the Aisne-Marne offensive and the Meuse-Argonne front. During World War II, it fought in New Guinea and the Philippines. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, I Corpsí mission became the occupation of the country until 1950, when it was sent into action in Korea. It crossed the 38th parallel, and was within a few miles of the Chinese border by October. When the Chinese entered the war, I Corps was embroiled in the brutal back-and-forth fighting around the 38th Parallel for the entire next year. After the armistice, it remained in Korea until 1971. Back to top

First battalion, 23rd infantry regiment (Blackhawk Company)

The 1/23ís history began in May 1861 when it was created in the federal army as Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment. It saw action in some of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War: Antietam, Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. It continued its tradition as a workhorse of the US Army, fighting at the Marne in WWI, and fighting at Normandy and in northern France and the Ardennes in World War II. It saw action repeatedly in Korea, was deactivated in 1986, and brought back in 1995. In December 2002, it was given an intense retraining during a six-day mock mission that included urban combat and a thwarted chemical attack. 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment website Back to top

Iraqi National Guard

The Iraqi National Guardís first units to come out of the new academy graduated in Tikrit on July 10th. The 309 graduates completed a 20-day course on drilling, use of the AK-47, first aid, and vehicle search techniques, taught by both coalition and Iraqi instructors. Car bombs have targeted their recruitment centers, and hundreds of ING soldiers have taken the lead in a major sweep in Mosul named "Operation Mutual Security," and, due to its aggressiveness, nicknamed by some, "Operation Mosul Lock-Down." According to some commanders, the ING still needs more coordination and equipment, "everything from helmets and body armor to night-vision goggles and binoculars." Back to top

Iraqi Police Service (IPS)

Under the Ministry of Interior, the IPS provides basic law enforcement throughout Iraq and assists Coalition Forces on raids. Its officers carry pistols, shotguns, and AK-47ís, and membership has grown to 75,000. Jordan takes part in training some officers, and Germany has agreed to help. The Coalition has been training IPS members in counterterrorism and in basic criminal investigation. Back to top

Dr. Iyad Allawi, interim Prime Minister of Iraq

A neurologist from a Shiia Muslim family and a former Baíathist, Allawi set up and led the Iraqi National Accord, which had close ties to the CIA and provided intelligence to MI6. Living half his life in the UK, he was alleged by some to be a paid agent of the feared Iraqi secret police, the Mukhabarat, and involved with a "hit team" that killed dissenters throughout Europe. He broke with the party in 1975, and in 1978, he was the target of an assassination attempt - woken up in his home by a man attacking him with an axe. The assailant left Allawi for dead, but Allawi survived and recovered from his injuries. In the mid-90ís, Allawi plotted with the CIA to overthrow Saddamís regime in an operation code-named DBACHILLES. But the plotters were infiltrated, and many were executed. In 2003, Allawi spent $300,000 on a publicity and lobbying blitz to gain more leverage with Washington. And in 2004, he was chosen by the IGC to be the Interim Prime Minister. On July 18th, militants offered a $285,000 price on his head. Back to top

Enemy Forces
Tawid and Jihad Movement

The "black-clad guerrillas" who attacked Coalition Forces in Mosul were supplied with caches of AK-47ís, cell phones, and improvised explosive material, which were later uncovered in sweeps throughout the city. And recently they were able to assassinate the governor of Mosul with hand grenades and blast of machine gun fire. They have also hit targets in Karbala, killing Bulgarian soldiers and the Iraqi police. Led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, they have also captured and beheaded several contractors from a variety of countries. Once believed to be part of al Qaeda, the Tawid organization (also called al Tawid) is now thought to be a separate, even competing, group with connections in Germany and Afghanistan, and its own networks of control and financing. But Zarqawi himself has appealed to bin Laden and the al Qaeda hierarchy for support in Iraq. The word "Tawid" means "the absolute unity of God." Back to top

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