In 2004, the United States Army, Marines and Iraqi Army carried out Operation Phantom Fury, also known as al-Fajr “Dawn”. The Iraqi city of Fallujah had a population of 300,000. For over a year and had become a hotbed and safe haven for the Saddam’s fedayeen, a terrorist force formed by Saddam Hussein to oppose the American invasion and al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the newest offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s franchise. At the time the US Marine Corps led force surrounded the city with 40,000 soldiers and marines, the terrorist forces a dug themselves into the heart of the city with 5000 men & women. US Marine Corps forces had entered the city earlier in the year but did not need to have a major engagement. US commanders decided to take their time and spent over six months with the Iraqi army evacuating 90% of the city. When that was complete the tidal wave of US and Iraqi forces stormed down on the city. The fighting was bitter and door-to-door. US Marine Corps infantry and combat elements fought street by street. The terrorists had laid booby traps and mines.