FALLUJAH PART 1 OF 3
Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly 69 km (43 miles) west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries. The city grew from a small town in 1947 to a pre-war population of about 350,000 inhabitants in 2003.
The current population is unknown but estimated at over 350,000, with approximately 300 new residents arriving monthly. Within Iraq, it is known as the "city of mosques" for the more than 200 mosques found in the city and surrounding villages. The war has reportedly damaged 60% of the city's buildings, with 20% totally destroyed including 60 of the city's mosques.
In December 2006, enough control had been exerted over the city to transfer operational control of the city from American forces to the 1st Iraqi Army Division. During the same month, the Fallujah police force began major offensive operations under their new chief. Coalition Forces, as of May 2007, are operating in direct support of the Iraqi Security Forces in the city. The city is one of Anbar province's centers of gravity in a newfound optimism among American and Iraqi leadership about the state of the counterinsurgency in the region.
In June 2007, Regimental Combat Team 6 began Operation Alljah, a security plan modeled on a successful operation in Ramadi. After segmenting districts of the city, Iraqi Police and Coalition Forces established police district headquarters in order to further localize the law enforcement capabilites of the Iraqi Police.
A similar program was met with success in the city of Ramadi in late 2006 and early 2007.