Ramadi is a city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in central Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, about 110 kilometres (68.4 mi) west
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

 of Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. It is the capital of Al Anbar Governorate.


Ramadi is located in a fertile, irrigated, alluvial plain.

The Ottoman Empire founded Ramadi in 1869. The main purpose of the city was to give the Ottomans a focal point to communicate and control the Dulaim
Dulaim or Dulaimi or Al Duliam or Dulaym is one of the largest of Arab tribes , with over seven million people. The confederation's history goes back to pre-Islamic times and millions descend from the original tribe today in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Syria and Jordan.The Dulaim tribe...

 tribe of the region.

During the Mesopotamian Campaign
Mesopotamian Campaign
The Mesopotamian campaign was a campaign in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I fought between the Allies represented by the British Empire, mostly troops from the Indian Empire, and the Central Powers, mostly of the Ottoman Empire.- Background :...

 of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 forces under Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Frederick Stanley Maude
Frederick Stanley Maude
Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stanley Maude KCB, CMG, DSO was a British commander, most famous for his efforts in Mesopotamia during World War I and for conquering Baghdad in 1917.-Family:...

 took Ramadi. In November 1917, British forces fought what was left of the Ottoman forces there. Sir Maude died soon after Ramadi was taken.

During the Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Ramadi was held by a brigade-sized unit loyal to Rashid Ali.


Ramadi is located within Iraq's Sunni Triangle. It was a focal point of resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, between 2003 and 2006.

The city outstretched to a distance of more than 60 kilometers on the Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, the largest city in Al-Anbar.

Ramadi's population has been stated as 444,582 according to UN data from 2003. and 483,209 according to UN from 2004.
However, according to the former regime there are about 700,000 inhabitants.

Although there was a large Jewish community into the twentieth century, in the 21st century all of the inhabitants of the city are Sunni Muslims from the Dulaim tribe.

Description of the city

To the north and west, Ramadi is bounded by the Euphrates River
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, while to the east and south it gradually disappears into suburbs. U.S. units were largely restricted to a handful of small bases. The headquarters base, in the northern corner of Ramadi, is on the grounds of one of two Saddam
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

-era palaces in the city; known first as Tactical Assembly Area Rifles and later as Camp Blue Diamond, this base was turned over to the Iraqi Army in the winter of 2007. At the other end of the stretch of Highway 10 that runs through Ramadi is another Saddam-era palace used as a Combat Outpost by a unit from the (Florida National Guard
Florida National Guard
The Florida National Guard is the National Guard force of the U.S. state of Florida. It comprises the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard.The United States Constitution charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions...


Several smaller buildings along Highway 10 between the two larger bases are routinely occupied by U.S. and Iraqi units, and just outside the city there are a number of other, less dangerous and better equipped camps, where an Army brigade headquarters and its support units were based.

Ramadi is also the location of the Ramadi Barrage
Ramadi Barrage
Ramadi Barrage is a two-section diversion dam on the Euphrates River adjacent of Ramadi, Iraq. The main purpose of the northern barrage is to slow or stop water if needed, allowing it to be diverted through the southern barrage into a canal...

 which diverts water from the Euphrates River into Lake Habbaniyah.

March 2003 - July 2003

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was the first American military unit to reach Ramadi, arriving in early May of 2003. The 3rd ACR's headquarters was located at the Rifles Base, which by July had hundreds of laborers from around the world working around the clock to construct a dining hall and recreation area for American forces.

Other American units initially stationed in Ramadi were:
  • Company C, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, which utilized the former presidential palace in Ramadi as its headquarters and faced repeated mortar attacks.

  • Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, Florida National Guard: Initially based downtown at a government building nicknamed "the Mayor's Cell," they were forced to move by a June 2003 local protest. Bravo Company thus relocated to a sandstone palace at the edge of the city.

February 2004 - April 2005

The 3rd ACR departed Ramadi in September 2003, handing it over to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (1st BCT, 1st ID) of Fort Riley, Kansas; however, until March, the 1st BCT fell under the command of the 82nd Airborne Division. In March, the 1st Marine Division deployed to Anbar, replacing the 82nd. While Army units in Iraq complete year-long tours, Marine units stay for seven months; in Ramadi, one Marine battalion typically augments an Army brigade.

During the first half of 2004, 1st BCT's two battalions (1-16th Infantry, 1-34th Armor
34th Armor Regiment (United States)
The 34th Armor Regiment is an armored regiment of the United States Army formed in 1941.-Lineage:Constituted 28 August 1941 in the Regular Army as the 34th Armored Regiment and assigned to the 5th Armored Division...

) were augmented by the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines
2nd Battalion 4th Marines
2nd Battalion, 4th Marines is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. The battalion, nicknamed the Magnificent Bastards, is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and are a part of the 5th Marine Regiment and 1st Marine Division.-Early years:2nd Battalion, 4th...

 (2/4). When 2/4 left in September, they handed their sector of Ramadi over to the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines
2nd Battalion 5th Marines
2nd Battalion 5th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps consisting of approximately 800 Marines and Sailors. They are based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and fall under the command of the 5th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division...

 (2/5)2nd Battalion 11th marines were also deployed during this time to Ar Ramadi, who completed their tour in April 2005, then 1st Battalion 5th Marines
1st Battalion 5th Marines
1st Battalion, 5th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California consisting of approximately 800 Marines and sailors. Nicknamed Geronimo, it falls under the command of the 5th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division...

 (1/5) took over.

The spring of 2004 was particularly bloody in Ramadi. In the opening days of the rebellion that began in April 2004, and which was dominated by the siege of Fallujah
Operation Vigilant Resolve
As part of the occupation of Iraq, the First Battle of Fallujah, codenamed Operation Vigilant Resolve, was an unsuccessful attempt by the United States Military to capture the city of Fallujah in April 2004....

, 2/4 suffered one of the deadliest attacks of the war, losing 12 Marines in a single day. During this time, with most of the 1st Marine Division's resources focused on Fallujah
Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries....

, 1-16 Infantry was left with the burden of controlling Ramadi.

For the most part, the four battalions occupying the Ramadi-Fallujah corridor (including the insurgent den of Khaldiyah) hunkered down and defended what ground they already held along the city's central thoroughfare. The remainder of the month was also costly for resistance groups: between 800 and 1000 were killed in running battles with the Marines
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and the 1-16 Infantry.

April 2005 - April 2006

Marine and Army units in Ramadi rotate on overlapping schedules; thus, just as 1 BCT 1ID arrived well before the 1st Marine Division officially began OIF 2, so the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (2-2 ID) arrived in August 2004, while the 1st Marine Division was still in charge of Anbar. Working first with the Marines from 2/5 and later with their replacements, 1/5 (who in turn were replaced by the 3rd Battalion 7th Marines
3rd Battalion 7th Marines
The 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. They are based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and consist of approximately 800 Marines. The battalion falls under the command of the 7th Marine Regiment and the 1st...

 (3/7)), the 2-2 ID's five battalions (the 1-9th Infantry, 2-17th Field Artillery, 1-503rd Infantry, 54th Engineer Battalion, and 1-506th Infantry) continued the previous units' work until August 2005.

During this period the brigade and the Marine battalions that worked with it continued to suffer steady casualties. Unlike the mechanized 1BCT 1ID, 2-2 ID was mostly a light-infantry brigade (1-9 Infantry is a mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers , or infantry fighting vehicles for transport and combat ....

 battalion), whose only tanks came from one company (Death Dealer Company) of the 2-72nd Armor.

Among the Army Combat Support units in Ramadi during this period were 2nd Platoon, 2nd Military Police Company as well as HHC and B Company, 983rd Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), and US Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, who greatly improved quality of life and force protection at American and Iraqi camps, as well as providing security and support for the first democratic elections and the subsequently elected government in Ramadi.

The 224th Combat Engineer Battalion (Iowa Army National Guard) served as the Divisional Engineer Battalion, conducting route clearance operations in support of first the 1st Marine Division from January - March 2005, and then to the 2nd Marine Division from March - December 2005, when it was replaced by the 54th Engineer Battalion, a Europe based Combat Engineer Battalion, which was part of the 130th Engineer Brigade V Corps.

April 2006 - May 2006

2-2 ID was replaced by the Pennsylvania National Guard
Pennsylvania National Guard
The Pennsylvania National Guard is composed of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. It is one of the largest National Guards in the nation. It has the largest Army National Guard of all the states and the fourth largest Air National Guard. These forces are...

's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division (2-28th BCT). When it arrived in August 2005 beside the Marines of 3/7, the 2-28th BCT came equipped for heavy fighting; it brought six battalions rather than three (3-103rd Armor
103rd Armor Regiment (United States)
The 103rd Armor Regiment is an armored regiment in the Pennsylvania National Guard first formed in 1941.-Lineage:Constituted 3 December 1941 in the Army of the United States as the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion...

, 1-104th Cavalry
104th Cavalry Regiment (United States)
The 104th Cavalry Regiment is a Regiment of the United States Army first established in 1921.-History:Headquarters and Headquarters Troop 1-104th Cavalry traces its roots back to the Revolutionary War and the 8th Pennslyvania Infantry. On December 6, 1869 the First Cavalry of Philadelphia, PA...

, 1-109th Infantry, 1-110th Infantry, 1-172nd Armor (actually made up of one company of Mountain Infantry and a single company of tanks) and 876 Engineer Battalion, all of which were "heavy" units equipped with tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, and were filled in with Troop A 1-167 Cavalry of the Nebraska Army National Guard for their Brigade Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and Personal Security Detail (PSD) units. The 1-167th Cavalry also provided local security for EOD units during counter-IED operations. The 2-222nd FA from the Utah Army National Guard provided counterfire, base defense and route security as well, firing over 4,000 rounds of artillery during the one-year tour. They were the first National Guard unit to fire the Paladin weapon system in combat operations. The 2-28th BCT was reinforced further, with the 2-69th Armor, a battle-hardened 3rd Infantry Division unit, being sent to it from Baqubah
Baqubah is the capital of Iraq's Diyala Governorate.The city is located some to the northeast of Baghdad, on the Diyala River. In 2003 it had an estimated population of some 467,900 people....

. The 2-69th Armor remained in Ramadi until January.

During September 2005, the 2-28th BCT suffered casualties as insurgent groups were pushed downriver by Marine offensives near Al Qaim and in the area around Haditha
Haditha is a city in the western Iraqi Al Anbar Governorate, about 240 km northwest of Baghdad. It is a farming town situated on the Euphrates River at . Its population of around 100,000 people is predominantly Sunni Muslim Arabs...

. Marine and 3rd Infantry division units that replaced the 503rd and 1/5 were doing the majority of rigorous counter-insurgency in the City center.

In March 2006, as 3rd Battalion 8th Marines
3rd Battalion 8th Marines
3rd Battalion 8th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina consisting of approximately 1,100 Marines and Sailors...

 arrived to replace 3/7, violence again began to escalate in Ramadi, with U.S. casualties spiking. With the 2-69th gone, the 2-28th BCT was again reinforced to help damp the insurgent activity, this time by the 1-506th Infantry, a newly arrived unit of the 101st Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division (United States)
The 101st Airborne Division—the "Screaming Eagles"—is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France, Operation Market Garden, the...

 that was transferred to Ramadi from Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

's Sadr City
Sadr City
Sadr City is a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq. It was built in 1959 by Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim and later unofficially renamed Sadr City after deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr....


During March 2006 two soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment
United States Army Rangers
United States Army Rangers are elite members of the United States Army. Rangers have served in recognized U.S. Army Ranger units or have graduated from the U.S. Army's Ranger School...

 were killed in Ramadi, possibly indicating that elements of the secretive Task Force 145 (which later helped to kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

) were present in the city. Additionally, at least 200 insurgents were killed by Army Ranger and 101st Airborne
101st Airborne Division (United States)
The 101st Airborne Division—the "Screaming Eagles"—is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France, Operation Market Garden, the...

 units during the month of April.

June 2006 - May 2007

As the summer of 2006 arrived, the level of attacks in Ramadi remained the highest in the country. As a result, rumors of an impending Fallujah-style assault
Operation Phantom Fury
The Second Battle of Fallujah was a joint U.S., Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S...

 sprang up in the Arab media.

In early June 2006, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division completed its year long deployment and the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
1st Armored Division (United States)
The 1st Armored Division—nicknamed "Old Ironsides"—is a standing armored division of the United States Army with base of operations in Fort Bliss, Texas. It was the first armored division of the U.S...

 was shifted from Tal Afar
Tal Afar
Tal Afar is a city and district in northwestern Iraq in the Ninawa Governorate located approximately 30 miles west of Mosul and 120 miles north west of Kirkuk.While no official census data exists, the city which had been...

 in northern Iraq to replace them. 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment remained in Tal Afar. To reinforce the 1st BCT, 1st Armored Division, General Casey
George William Casey Jr.
George William Casey, Jr. is a former United States Army four-star general who last served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from April 10, 2007 to April 11, 2011...

 ordered the deployment of two of his three strategic reserve battalions from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (the 1-36th Infantry
36th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 36th Infantry Regiment is a United States Army infantry regiment.-Lineage:The 36th Infantry was formed on 1 July 1916 at Brownsville, Texas from elements of the 4th Infantry, 26th Infantry and 28th Infantry...

 and 1-35th Armor
35th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 35th Infantry Regiment was created on 1 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona from elements of the 11th, 18th and 22nd Infantry Regiments. The 35th served on the Mexican Border during the First World War and was stationed at Nogales, Arizona in 1918...

, along with A & C Companies of the 40th Combat Engineers.)

On June 18, 2006, the 1st BCT, 1st Armored Division launched its offensive. Despite fears that the assault would be a repeat of the Marine offensive in Fallujah, the brigade took a different approach, discouraging residents from fleeing and moving in slowly with much more limited use of heavy weapons such as Abrams tanks, artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, and close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

. As the offensive opened, two columns of U.S. mechanized troops pushed north into the city's suburbs with Iraqi Army
Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is the land component of the Iraqi military, active in various forms since being formed by the British during their mandate over the country after World War I....

 units, cutting off two major entrances to the city for the first time during the war.

Meanwhile, 3rd Battalion 8th Marines held onto the western half of the downtown area and patrolled the river and its two bridges (the only northbound exits from the city) on foot and in boats; The 1-506th Infantry, 1-6th Infantry, 1-35th Armor and 40th Engineers continued to hold the main thoroughfare and the eastern exits. As the operation began, there was controversy over the number of refugees who left the city despite the U.S. military's assurances that the offensive would be of a very different character than the Fallujah assault of 2004.

1st BCT, 1st AD and elements of the 2nd BCT, 1st AD proceeded to establish a series of mutually supporting Combat Outposts manned by US and Iraqi forces both inside and outside the city. These outposts put increasing pressure on Al Qaeda and other insurgent groups operating throughout the city. US Forces along with their Iraqi Army counterparts brought the fight to Al Qaeda by conducting operations directly from these outposts and providing watch and security over key supply routes throughout the city.

According to Colonel MacFarland, "These [COPs] have had a very disruptive effect on the enemy. Most importantly, though, it’s given us the opportunity to engage the people of Ramadi.... And we’ve established real relationships with the people in parts of the city that we hadn’t been able to in the past".

Throughout July, insurgents operating in multiple platoon strength units consistently attacked the Combat Outposts with small arms, RPG, and indirect fire as US troops established additional COPs deeper into Ramadi neighborhoods. These attacks culminated in a city-wide battle on July 24 during which insurgents suffered heavy casualties after being beaten back.

In Mid September 2006, 1st Battalion 6th Marines
1st Battalion 6th Marines
The 1st Battalion, 6th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It consists of approximately 1,100 Marines and Sailors...

 took over the AO of Downtown Ramadi. The Battalion conducted several crucial missions along with the security and construction of numerous security stations throughout the downtown area. This was a crucial step in the deterring of IED attacks, IRL attacks and increasing the ability to conduct patrols in the Sook and NE corner of their AO. 1/6's progress and continuous pressure began to force out the city's insurgents and allowed the formation of a current and functional Iraqi Police force and Iraqi National Guard unit. 1st Battalion 6th Marines was extended in the 2006/2007 surge of 30,000 troops to the Al Anbar province. This allowed the battalion to continue to regulate and patrol the once "deadliest city in the world" and allow other Iraqi cities to begin the movement towards stability and away from insurgency.

October 2006 - December 2007

After the first 2004 tour in Ramadi, 503rd Infantry Regiment, reflagged to 1-9 Infantry, deployed back to Ramadi in October 2006. In the beginning months of 2007, 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division, with support from 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment
3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment
The 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment is a United States Army combined arms battalion based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. 3–69 AR was the first conventional US unit to enter Iraq in 2003, and among the first units to serve four tours in Iraq...

 of the 3rd Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment of the from 1st Infantry Division, Navy SEALs and 1/1/1 Iraqi Army
Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is the land component of the Iraqi military, active in various forms since being formed by the British during their mandate over the country after World War I....

, launched an offensive in East Ramadi, Operation Murfreesboro
Operation Murfreesboro
-Sofia:In October 2006, the Manchu Warriors of 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment deployed to east Ramadi for 2nd Infantry Division's second tour to Iraq. The Manchu's relieved the 506th Infantry Regiment and the 1st Armored Division from the AO. The Battalion was in east Ramadi during...

. The operation was intended to cut off the Ma'Laab district from the rest of Ramadi in order to drive out the AQIZ.

In February 2007, the operation had succefully divided the district by setting up a concrete wall barrier. There were more than 40 engagements, 8 large weapons caches found, about 55 IEDs exploded or found, 70 insurgents killed, 10 wounded, and 32 detained. The success of this operation led to the forming of the Ramadi Police Force which worked alongside U.S. military and Iraqi Army. 1-9 Infantry worked with the head shiek in the Sofia district and secured valuable intelligence throughout their campaign in Ramadi.

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