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2008 al-Qaeda offensive in Iraq
Part of the Post-invasion Iraq
Date 15 April 2008 – 19 May 2008
Location Iraq
Result Indecisive
United States United States Army
Flag of Iraq New Iraqi Army
Flag of The Islamic State of Iraq.jpg Islamic state of Iraq
Commanders and leaders
United States Gen. David Petraeus Flag of The Islamic State of Iraq.jpg Ayyub al-Masri
Iraqi Security Forces
407,000 (180,000 Army and 227,000 Police)[3]
Awakening Council militias
850[5] – 1,000+[6]
Casualties and losses
100+ soldiers, policemen and militiamen killed Dozens of fighters and suicide bombers killed
250+ civilians killed

The 2008 al-Qaeda offensive in Iraq was a month-long offensive conducted by al-Qaeda in Iraq against the multinational coalition of USA, UK, Australia and Poland.[7]

On 19 April 2008, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ayyub al-Masri, called for a month-long offensive against U.S. and Iraqi forces. However, the offensive is generally considered[citation needed] to have started four days earlier, when a series of suicide bombings in four major cities killed nearly 60 people.

Shortly after al-Masri's announcement a steady bombing campaign commenced against coalition forces. The series of bombings raised fears that remaining Sunni insurgents, who were still fighting the central government, were regrouping following their major defeat during Operation Phantom Phoenix earlier that year, that left them with only one mayor urban stronghold in the north, in Mosul.

The offensive ended after a month with no clear gains for either side.

Timeline of major attacks during the offensiveEdit

15 April 2008: In Baquba, as many as 53 people were killed and at least 70 more were wounded during a car bombing near the courthouse.[8] A suicide bomber killed 13 people and injured 20 more outside a kebab restaurant in Ramadi.[9] Five policemen were killed and four more were wounded during a suicide bombing at a checkpoint in the Hamidhiya area of Ramadi.[10] In Mosul, a double car bombing killed three people and wounded at least 16 people.[11] In Baghdad, a car bomb targeting a police patrol killed four people and wounded 15 in a central neighborhood.[8]

17 April 2008: Near Tuz Khormato in the village of al-Bu Mohammed, at least 50 people were killed and 55 more were wounded when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives at a funeral for two U.S.-allied militia members killed a day earlier. The older bomber was dressed in traditional garb and allowed to enter the funeral freely.[12]

18 April 2008: A suicide bomber attacked a U.S. military patrol near Tikrit killing one soldier.[13]

21 April 2008: A female suicide bomber attacked a U.S.-allied militia post, killing four people and wounding five others in Baquba.[14]

22 April 2008: A suicide car bomber at a checkpoint near Ramadi killed two U.S. Marines and wounded three more. Two policemen and 24 civilians were also wounded. A second car bombing, this one at a police station in the city, wounded 20 people, including women and policemen.[15] In Jalawla, a female suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 17 at a police station.[16]

23 April 2008: A coordinated attack in Mosul left four dead and nine injured. First, a suicide bomber detonated his vest. When first responders arrived a car bomb blasted them.[17]

25 April 2008: A series of bombings hit Mosul. Six people were killed, including two policemen, and five others were wounded during a suicide car bombing. Another suicide car bomber killed three and wounded six at an Iraqi army checkpoint. A suicide fuel truck bomber wounded 40 at an Iraqi army base. A car bomb in the Danadan neighborhood wounded three people.[18][19]

27 April 2008: Another suicide bombing was conducted in Mosul which left four policemen dead.[20]

29 April 2008: A female suicide bomber killed two U.S.-allied militiamen and wounded ten others in Baquba.[21] Meanwhile, another female suicide bomber in al-Saldiya killed one person and injured five people, including the district chief.[21]

30 April 2008: A U.S. soldier was killed in an explosion near Mosul.[22]

1 May 2008: A female suicide bomber killed 45 people and wounded 76 others in Balad Ruz. After the bomber struck a wedding convoy, another suicide bomber targeted the first responders who arrived on the scene.[23] A car bomb targeting a U.S. patrol killed ten and wounded 26 others near Camp Sara in Baghdad, one U.S. soldier was among the dead and three American soldiers were wounded.[24]

2 May 2008: Insurgents infiltrated across the Syrian border into Al Anbar province and rounded up and beheaded 11 policemen, along with a son of one of them, from the al-Rimana police station in the area of the border city of Al-Qaim.[25] Four U.S. Marines were killed when their vehicle drove over an IED in al-Anbar province.[26] Also, two Georgian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Diyala province.[27]

5 May 2008: Insurgents attacked an Iraqi Army checkpoint in Balad Ruz killing 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounding 13.[28]

13 May 2008: A roadside bomb in Mosul killed five Iraqi soldiers.[citation needed]

14 May 2008: A suicide bomber attacked a Sunni funeral west of Baghdad killing 22 people. A teenage girl, who was strapped with an explosive belt, blew up near Yusifiyah, targeting an Iraqi Army patrol, leaving an Iraqi Army captain dead and seven other soldiers wounded.[29]

16 May 2008: A suicide car bomber attacked a Fallujah police station. Four policemen were killed and nine others were wounded.[30]

18 May 2008: A car bomb hit an Iraqi Army patrol in the Zayouna district of Baghdad killing two soldiers and wounding four others.[citation needed]

19 May 2008: In the town of Baaj, 130 kilometers from Mosul, gunmen ambushed a bus carrying police recruits killing 11 of them.[31]


  1. "Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq". By T. Christian Miller. Los Angeles Times. 4 July 2007.
  2. "Contractor deaths add up in Iraq" Archived 13 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. By Michelle Roberts. Deseret Morning News. 24 February 2007.
  3. Collins, C. (19 August 2007) "U.S. says Iranians train Iraqi insurgents," Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine. McClatchy Newspapers
  4. A Dark Side to Iraq 'Awakening' Groups
  5. Tilghman, A. (October 2007) "The Myth of AQI" Archived 8 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Washington Monthly
  6. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq", (U.S. State Department, 'Country Reports on Terrorism', 2005).
  7. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq calls for one-month offensive". CBC News. 20 April 2008. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 15[dead link]
  9. Bombings kill nearly 60 in Sunni areas of Iraq[dead link]
  10. Aswat Aliraq
  11. Aswat Aliraq
  12. IRAQ WRAPUP 6-Suicide bomber kills 50 at Iraq funeral[dead link]
  13. Multi-National Force - Iraq - MND-N Soldier attacked in Salah ad Din Archived 7 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. IRAQ WRAPUP 2-Iraq to confront militias after Sadr threat[dead link]
  15. Multi-National Force - Iraq - Marines attacked by SVBIED near Ramadi Archived 4 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 22[dead link]
  17. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 23[dead link]
  18. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, April 26[dead link]
  19. "Suicide bombers, explosions rock Iraq -". CNN. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  20. Aswat Aliraq Archived 1 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Aswat Aliraq
  22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 
  23. "Iraqi lawmakers confront Iran with 'evidence' of militia backing -". CNN. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  24. Police: Car bomb kills at least 9 in Baghdad Archived 5 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. Friday: 52 Iraqis Killed, 157 Wounded -
  26. Four U.S. Marines killed in Iraq[dead link]
  27. Georgia says two soldiers killed in Iraq[dead link]
  28. Ten Iraqi soldiers slain in checkpoint attack[dead link]
  29. "Bombing at Iraq funeral kills 20". BBC News. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  30. FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, May 16[dead link]
  31. Monday: 29 Iraqis Killed, 39 Wounded -

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