The surge of operations that American and Iraqi forces began on June 15 has dramatically improved security in Baghdad and throughout Iraq.
A division-level operation that targeted al Qaeda networks throughout Salah ad Din, Diyala,Ninewah, and Tamim provinces during Operation Phantom Strike.
A division-level operation to clear the Diyala River Valley, northeast of Baqubah, during Operation Phantom Strike.
A Corps offensive to prevent al Qaeda, Sunni, and Shi’a insurgent elements from reconstituting their forces in Baghdad, its belts, or elsewhere.
A division-level operation to clear Baqubah and the surrounding areas during Operation Phantom Thunder.
The upper Tigris River Valley runs from the northern border of Iraq down directly into the center of Baghdad. As the Tigris winds its way south to the capital, a number of key Iraqi cities lie along the route; these are Bayji, Tikrit, Samarra, and Balad. A major highway, Main Supply Route Tampa, also runs from the Syrian border, through Mosul, and down along the Tigris River and aforementioned cities into Baghdad.
Northern Iraq extends north from Baghdad and is bordered by Syria, Turkey, and Iran. It consists of the provinces of Salah ad-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Arbil, Dahuk, and Ninawa. Iraqi Kurds inhabit the northern area, including Sulaymaniyah, Arbil, and Dahuk. The remainder of the region has a mix of ethnic and sectarian groups.
Tribal movements and Sons of Iraq (SoI) groups have been a critical partner for coalition forces in stabilizing Iraq from 2006 onwards.