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And Defense

Iraq

Issue: "Year in Review 2004," Jan. 1, 2005

U.S. Marines rolled into the heart of the Sunni stronghold in May, seeming to quiet the restive city of Fallujah after terrorists attacked and hanged from a bridge support three U.S. contract workers. Six months later, however, Fallujah was once again a safe haven for terrorists like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who oversaw a series of grisly beheadings there. Coalition forces learned a lesson: Don't put in charge former Baathists, like the local Iraqi commander dubbed to subdue Fallujah. So in November, the Marines were back-15,000 strong when combined with their Iraqi counterparts. The year's biggest offensives sent terrorists running from the city and yielded a treasure trove of records-and a firsthand look at Zarqawi's slaughterhouses-that will aid in hunting down insurgents for months to come.

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