2004 Forward Operating Base Marez bombing

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Coordinates: 36°18′09″N 43°07′20″E / 36.302433°N 43.122342°E / 36.302433; 43.122342

Attack on Forward Operating Base Marez
LocationMosul, Iraq
DateDecember 21, 2004; 14 years ago (2004-12-21)
TargetForward Operating Base Marez
Attack type
suicide bombing
Deaths14 U.S. soldiers
4 U.S. civilians
4 Iraqi soldiers
72 (including 51 U.S. soldiers)
PerpetratorsArmy of Ansar al-Sunna

The Forward Operating Base Marez bombing took place on December 21, 2004. Fourteen U.S. soldiers, four U.S. citizen Halliburton employees, and four Iraqi soldiers allied with the U.S. military were killed in an attack on a dining hall at the Forward Operating Base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul.

Pentagon report[edit]

The Pentagon reported that 72 other personnel were injured in the attack carried out by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest and the uniform of the Iraqi security services. The Islamist insurgent group Army of Ansar al-Sunna (partly evolved from Ansar al-Islam) released an internet message taking credit for the attack. The bomber entered the mess tent and approached a large group of U.S. soldiers, detonating himself and killing 22 people. It was the single deadliest suicide attack on U.S. soldiers, with 14 soldiers killed.

After attack[edit]

Weeks before the attack, soldiers from the base intercepted a document that mentioned a proposal for a massive "Beirut"-type attack on U.S. forces. The reference was apparently to the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing in which 241 U.S. service members were killed. Following the discovery of the papers, commanders at the base — which is about three miles south of Mosul and is used by both U.S. troops and the interim Iraqi National Guard forces — ratcheted up already tight security. Ansar al-Sunnah said the suicide bomber was a 24-year-old man from Mosul who worked at the base for two months and had provided information about the base to the group.

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