Operation Phantom Strike
Operation Phantom Strike, the follow-on to Operation Phantom Thunder, was launched on August 13, 2007. Like Phantom Thunder, Phantom Strike was a corps-level offensive, led by Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq. The operation aims to prevent al Qaeda, Sunni, and Shi’a insurgent elements from reconstituting their forces in Baghdad, its belts, or elsewhere. U.S. and Iraqi forces seek to destroy the remnants of enemy groups and eliminate any new safe havens they try to establish. Their operations are also aiming to prevent Shiite militias from taking over territory once controlled by al Qaeda.
General Odierno described the operational concept of Phantom Strike, shortly after that Corps offensive began:
“This week, we launched Operation Phantom Strike, a series of targeted operations designed to intensify pursuit of extremist elements across Iraq. With the elimination of safe havens and support zones due to Phantom Thunder, al Qaeda and Shi’a extremists have been forced into ever-shrinking areas, and it is my intent to pursue and disrupt their operations. …Over the coming weeks, we plan to conduct quick strike raids against remaining extremist sanctuaries and staging areas, carry out precision targeting operations against extremist leadership and focus missions to counter the extremists' lethal accelerants of choice, the IED and the vehicle-borne IED. We will continue to hunt down their leadership, deny them safe haven, disrupt their supply lines and significantly reduce their capability to operate in Iraq” (DoD Press Briefing, August 17, 2007).
Both Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces participated in Phantom Strike. While all Multi-National Divisions were involved in the corps offensive, the main effort operations are primarily those in Multi-National Division-North (MND-N) and Multi-National Division-Center (MND-C). The division-level sub-operations of Phantom Strike in MND-N included: Operations Lightning Hammer I and II, Operation Iron Hammer, and Operation Iron Reaper. In MND-C, the division-level sub-operations of Phantom Strike include: Operations Marne Husky, Marne Torch II, Marne Anvil, and Marne Courageous.
Operation Phantom Strike concluded in January 2008. It was followed by Operation Phantom Phoenix.