Initial Reports of Camp Falcom Attacks — from US and Iraqi Sources

October 27th, 2006 - by admin

The Pentagon / Battle Dove2 Blog / JUS & Free Arab Voice / Quds Press / SITE Institute – 2006-10-27 17:15:07

EAW Editor’s Note
North Korea did the White House a big favor by announcing the test of a nuclear weapon. The drama in North Korea shifted the media’s focus away from a much more dramatic series of explosions that were rocking Baghdad around the same time.

The Pentagon’s largest ammo dump at Forward Operating Base Falcon exploded with earth-shaking violence, reportedly causing hundreds of milions of dollars of damage. The Pentagon initially announced that the cause was “a fire.” In fact, the conflagration was triggered by two rockets and three mortar rounds fired by the Iraqi resistance.

The Pentagon continues to claim that there was “no loss of life.” The Pentagon claimed that the base quickly “returned to normal.”
The articles in this special edition of EAW’s Breaking News stongly indicate that the Pentagon has lied about the extent of the damage and the number of casualties.
EAW has obtained document that purports to list the names of more than 300 US soldiers, civilian contract workers and CIA employees who died in the attack.

We have chosen to publish the casualty list with apologies lto the families that may not yet have been notified by the Pentagon.
— Gar Smith, editor, Environmentalists Against War.

Operations Return to Normal after Mortar Attack on FOB Falcon
Spc. Jason Dangel 4th BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div. / Operation Iraqi Freedom
— Official Website of the Multinational Force – Iraq

FOB FALCON, Iraq (October 13, 2006) — Less than 24 hours after enemy 82mm mortar rounds hit an ammunition holding area, causing a torrent of explosions and fires that continued to smolder through the next day, life on Forward Operating Base Falcon has returned to normal.

Despite triggering multiple explosions and causing fire crews to work overtime, there were no casualties, and little damage was sustained to the buildings and vehicles positioned throughout the large military base located in Baghdad’s Doura neighborhood, said Col. Michael Beech, commander, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

With the help of seven Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams, the Soldiers at FOB Falcon were quickly able to locate and dispose of all unexploded ordnance near the explosion site, which enabled business to return to normal Thursday morning.

“Ultimately, this incident has had a minimal effect on my brigade’s operations within the last 24 hours,” Beech said. “This attack did not effect ongoing Baghdad security operations in our area of responsibility, and the loss of ammunition will not degrade the operational capability of the 4th Brigade Combat Team.”

The most damage occurred in areas directly surrounding the large steel shipping containers that held the various types of tank, artillery and small-arms ammunition, he said.

“Currently, we have cleared all the areas that are necessary for the maneuver units to use to be able to conduct normal operations,” said Maj. Mark Crussow, operations officer, 3rd EOD Battalion, attached to the 4th Inf. Div.

“Our focus now is to secure the ammunition holding area and dispose of anything we feel poses a threat to personnel on the FOB,” he said. The seven ordnance disposal teams from the 3rd EOD Bn. are working from dawn to dusk and have already disposed of several hundred pounds of explosives deemed unstable. All other areas except those within about 1,000 feet of the explosion site have been completely secured, he said.

At the time of the attack at approximately 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, base personnel went to full alert as attack aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles flew overhead in an attempt to locate the terrorists’ mortar position. One of the mortar shells, more than likely, struck a portion of the holding area designated for storing flares, or munitions used for illumination, and ignited a fire, which then caused the ammunition to explode, said Staff Sgt. Evan Ort, ammunitions specialist, Company A, 704th Support Battalion, 4th BCT.

Ort, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the ammunition holding area, said at least 15 containers went unscathed during the incident. Further assessments will be made once the quarantined area around the site is secured, said Ort, while searching for ordnance Thursday with other Soldiers from the 704th Support Bn.

Sgt. Peter Schmitt, petroleum specialist, Company B, 704th Support Bn., recounted the incident and said all the necessary steps were taken to ensure the safety of the Soldiers living on the FOB.

“It was definitely crazy to watch. Anyone living near the site was evacuated to a safe location until everything was secure,” Schmitt said, speaking about the explosion that sent flames and a rainfall of sparks into the night sky.

Soldiers and base employees were moved immediately to the safety of hardened buildings and structures on the base, Schmitt explained. Schmitt said he was able to see the explosions from his barracks but quickly helped evacuate Soldiers to a safe building several thousand feet away.

“As bad as everything sounded when this incident first happened, it turns out not to be as bad as I thought,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John Moody, 4th BCT, 4th Inf. Div., during a visit to FOB Falcon Thursday.

“Our Soldiers are doing a great job with recovery, and I think the fact that something like that can happen to this brigade, and we can rebound so quickly says a lot about the kind of Soldiers we have,” he continued. “This event has had a minimal impact on our mission and what we do.”

Massive Explosions Force US
To Abandon Baghdad Base:
Reports Suggest 300+ US Casualties

BattleDove2 / BattleDove2’s Blog

BAGHDAD (October 11, 2006) — The loud blasts could be heard across the Iraqi capital. A fire which erupted in an ammunition store at a US military base in Baghdad has triggered massive explosions that could be heard across the capital city, according to a military spokesman.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Withington of the 4th Infantry Division told AFP on Tuesday that military and civilian personnel had been evacuated from Forward Operating Base Falcon without injury but that the fire was continuing to burn.

Withington said: “We have a fire. An ammunition holding area caught on fire. It’s in our operating base in the Rasheed area of the city. The ammunition holding area contains tank and artillery rounds as well as small arms ammunition.”

The blaze broke out at around 10.40pm [1940 GMT] and loud explosions could be heard after that. Iraqi officials appeared on state television to urge calm and prevent rumours of an attack from spreading. US forces do not yet know the cause of the fire, Withington said.

The damage appeared to have been contained within the base, the US spokesman said, although Iraqi officials said that shells “cooking off” in the fire had crashed down in five districts in the south of the city.

State television showed live pictures of a blazing inferno and ordnance exploding skywards, but there was no immediate news of civilian casualties outside the base.

Two hours after the fire broke out a regular drumbeat of explosions could still be heard five kilometres [2.4 miles] away in the city centre, a barrage more intense than Baghdad’s daily diet of car bombs and mortar strikes.

Falcon Base Update: New Video Released Reports “Dozens” Of US Casualties Omar al-Faris / JUS & Muhammad Abu Nasr / Free Arab Voice

(October 16, 2006) — Jaish Al-Islami (Islamic Army of Iraq) has released a spectacular video that shows their group firing mortars into the US Falcon base and the subsequent explosions that occurred as reports that “dozens” of Americans were killed in the massive attack surfaced.

Last Tuesday, a coordinated attack, leveled the US base in Baghdad when mortars and rocket fire struck the munitions arsenal located on the base. In the new video release, one of the Jaish al-Islami’s field Commanders explains the great victory that Allah granted.

Quoting a US Military Commander who was cited by news agencies, the JI commander stated that the US lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the attack, and the losses encompassed all the equipment in the base, including the base’s smart weapons cache, US vehicles, a large number UAVs, administrative and archival material belonging to the 7th Marine Corp that was completely destroyed along with a large number of tanks and aircraft.

The best part, the JI Commander explains in the video, is that this huge loss was caused by just two Katyusha rockets and three 120mm mortars that cost less than $300 to make.

The JI Commander asked the Mujahideen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya and all over the world, along with the Muslims who couldn’t join the Jihad for once reason or another and the Ulema Muslims to assign one day in the last 10 days of Ramadhan to pray to Allah to grant victory to the Muslim Ummah, and hasten the establishment of the state of Islam.

“Dozens” Of Americans Reported Killed In Falcon Base Attack; US Accuses Translators
Quds Press

US forces have begun accusing Iraqi translators working for the American occupation of leaking information to the Iraqi Resistance that facilitated the devastating attack on the Falcon Forward Base arsenal late on Tuesday night, October 10, 2006.

A source in the Iraqi puppet army told Quds Press that US authorities have opened an investigation into the attack to try to determine how the Iraqi Resistance obtained detailed information on the location of the arms and ammunition in the arsenal that allowed them to carry out a strike with such precision.

“The (American) forces are sure that two of the Iraqi translators who were working for them leaked information and gave particulars to the “insurgents” (Iraqi Resistance). They (the Americans) have suspicions regarding a third translator who left the base one day before the attack and never joined up again.”

Quds Press noted that although the American authorities reported no casualties in the attack, the Iraqi source, who asked not to be identified, said that “dozens” of American soldiers were killed in the explosions that rocked the arsenal for hours on Tuesday-Wednesday night. The source said that the US military have in their custody the bodies of six Iraqi translators who were killed in the blasts, and the Americans were refusing to release those remains to their families for reasons that remain unknown.

Islamic Army in Iraq Issues Video of Ammunition Facility Bombing in Baghdad
Commenting on the Falcon Base Operation by SITE Institute

(October 16, 2006) — In an 8:19 minute video and transcript issued by the Islamic Army in Iraq yesterday, Sunday, October 15, 2006, the group provides footage of the bombing and resulting blaze of an ammunitions facility at the Falcon base of American forces in southern Baghdad. The attack, which occurred on the night of Tuesday, October 10, was claimed by both the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Conquering Army [Jeish al-Fatiheen], and was filmed by a Mujahid from the Salah al-Din al-Ayubi Brigades of the Islamic Iraqi Resistance Front, Ja’ami. Although the Islamic Army accepts that “anyone who has military experience” would inform that their use of two Katyusha rockets and three mortar shells cannot destroy a military base the size of the Falcon base, the group claims that it truly was done so because of the support of Allah.

The narrator of the video chides that a base costing several hundred million dollars and composed of much reinforcement, was destroyed by about three-hundred dollars worth of weaponry. He also reminds of statements from American military personnel of the extent of damaged incurred, not only to the base facilities, but to aircraft, tanks, and administrative and archival materials belonging to the Marines. However, the group claims that the military failed to mention the casualties or injuries of the five thousands “infidels” on the site.

This attack is claimed by the Islamic Army in Iraq as not only a victory for the Mujahideen and the Muslims in Iraq, but for Muslims all over the world. The group then calls upon those Mujahideen who could not travel to Iraq, Muslims, and Islamic scholars to make one of the ten remaining days of Ramadan a victory for the Islamic Nation, and to provide prayers and support. For financial support, the Islamic Army asks that donations be made through al-Nusra Electronic Charity.

A translation of the written transcript is provided to our Intel Service members.

On-line Comments
An army base in Baghdad, a large ammunition dump no less, is hit by mortar fire and is blown to smithereens by tons of ordinance exploding. No reports of any casualties, US or Iraqi. Presumably there were no soldiers guarding the base then, no need to guard a large ammo dump in a hostile city. The Iraqi restistance website does mention casualties but i cant find confirmation anywhere else. Seems like a bit of a blackout on this story…

A single round, doing massive amounts of damage, and the media choosing not to ‘aid and abet the terrorist’ by reporting anything but the offical story.
— Jinx Dragon | Oct 16 2006 – 3:43am |

Still no mention of this in MSM.
It is a Non Event. Nothing to see here.
Maybe nobody noticed, what with Foley about to drop the dime on some dead priest, and interviewing distraction du jour John Mark Karr on CNN and Madonna adopting an African kid and other real news.

The video that depicts the “Shock and Awe” explosions that brought the US base down, appears as the next front page news item. You be the judge. (JUS)

I dont regard them as a credible source either, but the report doesn’t sound unreasonable. Did you try the video? I cant access it from behind this firewall.

Google has a video clip about the attack.

Wow, that was frightening. I feel sorry for the troops on that base. Those were some insane explosions. — Deka | Oct 18 2006 – 1:09am |

Looks like another attempt by the Bush administration to cover up bad military news before the election. Will we ever know the truth as to what has happened? Not with the GOP in charge.

it’s hardly surprising, likewise the outspoken comments of Britain’s army chief must have pissed off the Neocons as much as it did Blair.

I caught the first few seconds [of the video] before having to head out the door. Do you think it was possible they had chemical munitions there? The people recording where asking that question by the sounds, and it is plausible as the US does have chemical munitions on their weapon lists. ‚ Jinx Dragon | Oct 18 2006 – 12:34am |

There’s certainly rumours flying round the net about chemical munitions, but i wouldnt jump to conclusions yet. You can see the initial mortar/rocket attacks right near the start — it’s pitch black and there two very quick flashes as they launch. A few seconds after there are multiple explosions, some are huge.One explosion in particular (towards the left side of the video screen a couple of minutes in) is a huge fireball that is different from the others. I would suggest either a fuel tanker or possibly a napalm/incendary weapon has exploded as there is literaly a cloud of fire, whereas most of the explosions are more like huge white fireworks.

I still cannot find any confirmation on casualties or whether the story about the 9 red-cross transport planes is true. But if there were any personnel in the base when it was hit I would be amazed if there weren’t fatalities.

There are three fatalities listed for that day, only one of whom is listed as dying in Baghdad — so he may/may not have been a victim of this attack. Although the explosion/attack looks spectacular it’s probable that there weren’t that many troops in the immediate vicinity, which I guess makes sense as you really would have to be dumber than dumbness itself to quarter any more troops than strictly necessary next to an ammo dump.

“I still cannot find any confirmation on casualties or whether the story about the 9 Red-Cross transport planes is true.”

So they don’t guard bases now? In a war-torn country with insurgencies run amuck you would be a idiot not to have plenty of troops guarding a munitions dump. Then again, they didn’t at the lead up to the war when they lost tons of RDX…

No I think a report of massive casualties, even say a dozen or so, at this time would be very poor for the political sphere. Hence the media hasn’t touched the story, besides they have more important things to record on like the signing of new laws to ‘protect us’ and sex schedule by democrats… oh I mean republicans, bit hard to remember when they keep putting D’s after the name. Like wise as most of the Iraqi based US media is military controlled, the military doesn’t want to admit that it lost a munitions base let alone how many casualties it suffered while doing so. Might give the insurgence ideas about more attacks.

In any case how many men would you consider to be necessary but not to much to guard a military base, one with Intel being stored there as well as munitions? A squad, a platoon, a battalion? As the person on the tape said, ‘it is a miracle if no one gets hurt.’ And he was in a better position to know how many where guarding the facility then we are. — Jinx Dragon | Oct 18 2006 – 11:11am

Today’s news is bad enough. I think if there were massive casualties as a result of last week’s attacks, we’d have gotten some verification by now.

Justice Louis Brandeis once remarked “The greatest threat to liberty will come from government officials claiming to be acting for noble purposes.”