From the November 2006 Idaho Observer:

Attack on Falcon base arsenal prompts "change of policy" in Iraq

The attack on Camp Falcon caused huge explosions and fires that burned for 23 hours. Even though this incident was undoubtedly the impetus for the Bush administration to change its "policies" in Iraq, the corporate media has been suspiciously silent.

Three days after the Oct. 10, 2006 attack that destroyed the largest U.S. arsenal in Baghdad, President Bush called a meeting of his top military advisors to discuss "policy changes" regarding the war in Iraq. The U.S. corporate media apparently do not see the connection because a $billion in damage to U.S. military logistical support has not made the news. Since there is an absence of "western" reporting on this event, we must rely on the "resistance" for the details of what happened at Camp Falcon.

by Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice

BAGHDAD—The U.S. Falcon base, now described as burned out wasteland with no buildings was the scene of American helicopters dumping water on the site Wednesday to extinguish the last flames after resistance fighters managed to carry out a devastating attack that completely destroyed the American base.

In a dispatch posted at 4:15 p.m. Makkah time Oct. 11, 2006, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a source in the puppet Iraqi Defense Ministry had revealed that U.S. forces and their Iraqi puppet allies would begin clearing and cleaning away the U.S. Forward Base Falcon (as-Saqr Base) in Sukkaniya in the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah on Wednesday.

The source said that at the present time U.S. helicopters were pouring water intensely on the remains of the arsenal to make sure that the last flames of the fire were finally extinguished. Earlier that day, U.S. forces announced that the fires were still burning in the arsenal which the Americans admitted was the biggest in Iraq and which they acknowledged had been destroyed. The U.S. military claimed that the devastating explosions that lasted for hours and lit up the skies over Baghdad caused no casualties.

Lighting up the night sky

Iraqi Resistance forces attacked the largest U.S. weapons arsenal depot in the American General Headquarters in the south of Baghdad late Tuesday evening. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the arsenal, located in the as-Saqr Base in the south of Baghdad is the main supplier of equipment to the U.S. forces. At the time of reporting, mountains of American arms and ammunition were continuing to explode in the sky in a huge fire unprecedented in Baghdad’s history.

In response, U.S. aircraft hysterically rocketed and bombed various parts of the city, the correspondent reported, trying to knock out the launch sites of the rockets that blasted into the American arsenal.

A source in the Iraqi puppet regime told Mafkarat al-Islam that the Resistance blasted the American arsenal, known as Camp Falcon, with Grad and Katyusha rockets. The source admitted that dozens of Americans had been killed or wounded in the blasts that were still ripping the American arsenal apart. The source said that the U.S. forces were unable to do anything to stop the massive inferno of flame and explosions that was lighting up the Baghdad sky like fireworks.

Reuters reported the puppet regime’s Iraqiyah television network as showing pictures of a huge fire lighting up the night sky. Reuters reporters in central Baghdad heard more than 30 explosions, which began at about 11pm local time Tuesday night. The puppet Iraqi Interior Ministry said the explosions had rocked three neighborhoods close to Forward Operating Base Falcon in the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah.

Losses could top $1 billion

So-called Iraqi officials expect that the losses sustained by the U.S. military as a result of the destruction of the Falcon Arsenal would total more than a billion U.S. dollars. Major General Bilal Ahmad al-Ithawi, an adviser to the Iraqi Defense Minister for transport and supply, visited ad-Durah on Wednesday morning and told Mafkarat al-Islam that the attack had inflicted enormous losses on the U.S. military that could total more than US$1 billion.

General al-Ithawi said that the Falcon base was the biggest U.S. arsenal in central Iraq and was the launching point for U.S. military operations. The arsenal contained more than 50 tanks; numerous artillery pieces; a landing strip for Chinook helicopters, some of which were parked there when the place exploded in addition to armories containing weapons and ammunition. He said that all the buildings and furnishings of the base had been totally destroyed along with the archive records.

General al-Ithawi said, however, that the biggest fear among Iraqi puppet officials during the night was that the Americans might have stockpiled low grade nuclear arms or chemical weapons like those used in the Second Battle of al-Fallujah on the base. Had such weapons been there, the death toll of Iraqi residents of Baghdad could have been in the thousands.

U.S. troops seen hauling away at least 30 burned out tanks, armored vehicles

In a dispatch posted at 11:15p.m. Makkah time Oct. 11, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that, as of 5:30p.m. Wednesday afternoon Baghdad time, at least 30 U.S. Abrams tanks and Bradley armored vehicles were known to have been destroyed in the attack.

Eyewitnesses from he ar-Rashid section of southern Baghdad were quoted as saying that the U.S. had used 13 huge military transport trucks to haul completely charred American armored vehicles out of the remains of the American Falcon base. The U.S. forces hid the burnt wreckage of the vehicles behind the vegetable wholesale market known as the Ulwat ar-Rashid Commercial Market.

Witnesses also reported that about 15 minutes before sunset Wednesday, the procession of vehicles under U.S. helicopter air cover and escorted by Humvees took the wrecked vehicles, estimated to number at least 22, to the back wall of the Ulwah. The Americans then set up a guard post to control access to the wrecked vehicles.

The Americans also set up a checkpoint 2 km away where they confiscated cell phones with built-in cameras because travelers on their way to the village of as-Saidat would be able clearly to see the wrecked armored vehicles.

Meanwhile, residents of the al-Khadra neighborhood and a number of Iraqi traffic wardens told Mafkarat al-Islam that they had seen giant American trucks carrying charred U.S. tanks. The witnesses said that the vehicles had no apparent damage to their external shells, as usually is the case when they are burned in the explosion of a roadside bomb or shoulder-fired rockets. Witnesses said that the number of burned tanks being hauled through their area was between eight and 12.

As of the time of this reporting, men of the American 4th Engineering Division were still working together with a cleanup unit of the Iraqi puppet army to haul away wrecked U.S. vehicles and other wreckage of the American base with the help of American helicopters and cranes.

U.S. forces have completely blocked the road that runs by the ruined base. Residents of the al-Mahdiyah al-Ula section of the city whose houses are opposite the base reported there were U.S. vehicles that had been totally destroyed and were still inside the base waiting for the teams of cleanup troops to get to them. The witnesses also told Mafkarat al-Islam that high-ranking American officials had visited the site during the first hours of Wednesday under very heavy guard.

Devastating Strike

In a bulletin posted at 2 a.m. Makkah time before dawn Wednesday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported its correspondent as saying that the U.S. military hospital at the massive American-occupied air base in al-Habbaniyah had begun receiving dead and wounded personnel from the attack. Witnesses reported that at least five U.S. military transport planes airlifted American casualties out of the devastated Falcon base.

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