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Mission 33 - Satellite Photo
Fallujah Vigilant Resolve

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 bomb a bridge accidentally dropped two laser guided bombs on a crowded Fallujah marketplace, killing anywhere from 50 to 150 civilians, early in the Gulf War.

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.

Economic woes may play a part in the insurgency. Sixty to 70 percent of its people are unemployed right now, and Fallujah residents have learned to earn an income through attacking US forces. The creation of legitimate jobs will be an imperative part of the city’s reconstruction. Iraq's development as a modern, industrial society has been aided by a network of highways and railroads between Fallujah and outlying cities and provinces, and its untapped technologies - like satellite television and the Internet - are no longer prohibited, thanks to the fall of the former regime.