The U.S. and Iraqi security forces have preparing the battlefield in Diyala until the full compliment of U.S. forces are in theater and able to finish securing the Baghdad “belts” – the regions surrounding Baghdad. The Diyala Campaign is only is its opening phase, with U.S. and Iraqi forces conducting raids, search and destroy missions, establishing forward operating bases and logistic nodes in preparation for the full assault sometime early this summer. The establishment of the yet to be named Diyala Salvation Front is a crucial element to establishing local intelligence networks and an auxiliary force to hunt al Qaeda.
The influence of Sheikh Sattar al Rishawi and his Anbar Salvation Council cannot be underestimated in the formation of the anti al Qaeda tribal alliance in Diyala. The Anbar Salvation Council has been operating outside its provincial boundaries and has sent emissaries into Diyala, Salahadin, Niwena and other provinces in an effort to expand his anti al Qaeda Awakening movement nationwide.