After long period of suicide and car bombs attacks on American forces near and around Falluja (in the picture) in Iraq, about 70 km West of Baghdad, and constant violation of so called unofficial ‘cease fire’ understandings, the Americans had enough and, on 11/07/2004 dawn, launched a massive offensive on Falluja aimed to uproot Al Qaeda Islamic insurgency in Falluja. The second battle for Falluja, a town of less then 300,000 people, lasted up to 12/23/2004. The American Army sent to Falluja the equivalent of three fighting brigades. According to American sources USA army faced 3000 Islamic insurgents organized in small fighting squads.
According to American numbers up to 6000! Civilians were killed throughout the 46 day operation – 2% of the initial population of Falluja. About 1000 insurgents were killed too in Falluja – 14% of the total number of casualties. Over 70% of the population fled the town.  Residents were allowed to return to the city in mid-December 2004, only after undergoing biometric identification, provided they carried their ID cards all the time. USA officials report that “more than half of Fallujah’s 39,000 homes were damaged, and about 10,000 of those were destroyed.” Which means over 25% of the town was basically demolished, including 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines used as warehouses for ammunition and explosives. By March 2005 only 30% of the original population of Falluja returned home. 77 American troops were killed over the 46 days of the battle.  


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