Iraqis Take Control South of Mosul; Operations Net Weapons, Suspects
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2006 An Iraqi unit has taken control of an operational area, and Iraqi and coalition forces have seized more weapons and detained terrorism suspects, military officials in Baghdad reported.
The 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division, took control of its own battle space south of Mosul in a Jan. 28 ceremony. The unit's commander, Iraqi Brig. Gen. Ali Mullah, accepted responsibility from a unit from the U.S. 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
The unit's area, about 150 square kilometers, is west of the Tigris River east of the Mosul-Baghdad highway and between the villages of Aitha in the south and Munirah in the north. The battalion grew out of an Iraqi Civil Defense Corps company and now has more than 800 trained and ready soldiers.
"The terrorists are taking their last breaths and the end is near. ... There is no place for them (to hide)," Ali said. "My soldiers and I will ensure that security and stability are maintained."
The unit was certified ready to assume the frontline in the counter-insurgency fight after conducting more than two dozen major, battalion-level missions. Thirteen of the unit's soldiers have been killed in action.
In other news:
- Iraqi soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division and Coalition forces discovered three weapons caches near Ramadi yesterday. The caches included high-explosive and white phosphorous rounds, mortar tubes and rounds, a rocket, sticks of explosive, a radio base station with batteries, a timed fuse and a detonation cord.
- Iraqi police and coalition troops found a cache of mortar rounds with fuses, wires, timers and radios southeast of Baqubah yesterday.
- Iraqi soldiers, joined by members of the U.S. Army's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, planned and conducted several raids yesterday to capture terrorists behind mortar and rocket attacks on coalition bases. Three targeted terrorists and 15 other suspected enemy fighters were detained. The units also seized a weapon, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a roadside bomb triggering device.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)