Operation Lightning Hammer I
Operation Lightning Hammer I was launched on August 13, 2007. Lightning Hammer I was the division-level operation in Multi-National Division-North (MND-N), subordinate to the Corps offensive, Phantom Strike. It was also the follow-on to Operation Arrowhead Ripper.
The aim of Operation Lightning Hammer was to clear al Qaeda, secret cells, and other insurgent elements from the Diyala River Valley, northeast from Baqubah to Muqdadiyah and Lake Hamrin. Lightning Hammer involved roughly 16,000 Iraqi and Coalition forces, including elements from five U.S. brigades, two Iraqi Army Divisions, and the Iraqi Police in Diyala.
This operation concluded on September 1, 2007. Approximately fifty villages in Diyala province were cleared during Lightning Hammer I. In total, 26 members of al Qaeda were killed, 37 suspected terrorists were detained, and 10 weapons caches were found. With the help of the local police and population, over 30 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found; this included three house-borne IEDs and six vehicle-borne IEDs, both of which are especially devastating.
In early September, MND-N launched Operation Lightning Hammer II, the follow-on to Lightning Hammer I.