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.
Operation Phantom Strike
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.
As part of a series of interviews with Brigade and Division-level commanders in Iraq, I spoke today with MG Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multi-National Division-North and the 25th Infantry Division (Light), about U.S. operations aimed at disrupting and destroying al-Qaeda in northern Iraq during the summer of 2007. You can access the video of the interview below.
MND-C operation aiming to promote security in the southern and eastern belts of Baghdad.