Operation Lightning Hammer II
Operation Lightning Hammer II, the follow-on to Lightning Hammer I and subordinate to the Corps offensive Phantom Strike, was launched on September 5, 2007. Lightning Hammer II aimed to continue to clear al Qaeda elements up the Diyala River Valley and throughout Diyala province, while conducting targeted raids against al Qaeda elsewhere in northern Iraq, in order to dismantle the terrorist network.
The main effort during Lightning Hammer II was Diyala Province, where Coalition Forces continued to pursue al Qaeda elements that had been driven out of Baqubah and the Diyala River Valley during Operations Arrowhead Ripper and Lightning Hammer I. Elsewhere in Multi-National Division-North (MND-N), U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted intelligence-driven raids targeting al Qaeda leadership, financiers, and facilitators throughout the Tigris River Valley and northern Iraq. During Lightning Hammer II, these targeted raids occurred near daily in the cities of Mosul, Bayji, Tikrit, Samarra, and, to a lesser extent, Balad. U.S. and Iraqi forces also continued efforts to prevent al Qaeda reinfiltration of previously cleared areas, particularly Baqubah.
Over 12,000 Coalition Forces participated in Operation Lightning Hammer II, working in partnership with roughly 14,000 Iraqi Security Forces. A majority of U.S. and Iraqi forces were concentrated in Diyala and Ninewah provinces.
Lightning Hammer II concluded in late October 2007. Seeking to counter al Qaeda attempts to regroup in rural areas of northern Iraq, MND-N transitioned to Operation Iron Hammer in early November.