American bombers and fighter planes unleashed a crescendo of 40,000 pounds of explosives during a ten-minute airstrike that flattened what the military terms safe havens for al-Qaeda on the northern outskirts of Baghdad. Operation Phantom Phoenix included columns of US troops entering the area that had been bombed in order to confront al-Qaeda elements. The bombing took place the day after nine US soldiers died in that area as a result of explosives in a house and due to enemy action.
American forces in Iraq are confronting enemies who will not remain fixed in a single location awaiting the arrival of their enemies. They are flexible, shift operations at will, and have infiltrated Iraqi security so they often know what is going to happen. Insurgents have been pushed out of Baghdad and now have relocated to other areas which may be more difficult to confront. An urban campaign occurs within a fixed geographical environment, but now that miltants ar in open space the problems of handling them become more complex.