CIA Operatives, Joined by JSOC, Prepare the Iraqi Battlespace for the US-led Invasion
The first CIA team entered Iraq on July 10, 2002.
This team was composed of members of the CIA's famed Special Activities Division and was later joined by members of the U.S. Military's elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Together, they prepared for the invasion of conventional U.S. Military forces. These efforts consisted of persuading several Iraqi military divisions to surrender rather than oppose the invasion and to identify all of the initial leadership targets during very high risk reconnaissance missions. Most importantly, their efforts organized the Kurdish Peshmerga to become the northern front of the invasion. Together this force defeated Ansar al-Islam in Northern Iraq prior to the invasion and than defeated the Iraqi army in the north. The battle against Ansar al-Islam led to the death of a substantial number of militants and the uncovering of a chemical weapons facility at Sargat.