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Mission 32 - Satellite Photos & Other Imagery
Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr (Dawn), Part 2

Fallujah is a town of about 300,000 residents located some sixty kilometers west of Baghdad. It forms part of the Sunni Muslim center of the country and is one of the main areas of popular support for former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Since early April 2003, Fallujah has become one of the most hostile and violent areas in Iraq.

Fallujah is a city proud of its staunch Islamic honor codes and conservative social conformity. Anti-American sentiment and coalition opposition runs high, particularly after a British jet intending to destroy a bridge accidentally dropped two laser-guided bombs on a crowded Fallujah marketplace early in the Gulf War, killing anywhere from 50 to 150 civilians.

Violence in the form of brazen attacks, murders, and bombings are commonplace in Fallujah. Troops are besieged with incoming fire and attempts at roadside bombs and mortar attacks. The atmosphere in Fallujah is so intense that military commanders direct forces to protect themselves through a "shoot to kill" order on the sighting of an AK-47 or RPG in the hands of someone outside of a private home.

Fallujah is preceded by a gruesome reputation. It was Fallujah where four US contractors were ambushed and killed in April, their corpses dragged through the streets by throngs of anti-American residents. The atrocity was the impetus behind Operation Vigilant Resolve, a month-long battle cut short of quelling the insurgency. Since then, Fallujah has become a simmering battleground, raging with urban guerrillas and lawlessness.


Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr (Dawn), Part 2

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