Totten & Loyola on Ramadi - Provincial Capital of Anbar, Iraq

The following are highlights from Michael Totten’s excellent Anbar Awakens Part I: The Battle of Ramadi.

Only a few months ago Ramadi was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It was another “Fallujah,” and certainly the most dangerous place in Iraq. Today, to the astonishment of everyone – especially the United States Army and Marines – it is perhaps the safest city in all of Iraq outside of Kurdistan.

Ramadi, in my experience, is the great exception. Ramadi was worse than it appeared in the media. Two American colonels in charge of the area compared the battle of Ramadi to Stalingrad. “We were engaged in hours-long full-contact kinetic warfare with enemies in fixed positions,” said Army Major Lee Peters. “There were areas where our odds of being attacked were 100 percent,” Army Captain Jay McGee told me. “Literally hundreds of IEDs created virtual minefields.”

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