Air Strike Targets Terrorist Safe Haven in Husaybah
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2005 Coalition forces conducted an air strike against an identified terrorist safe haven in Husaybah, Iraq, near the country's Syrian border, military officials reported.
No assessment was immediately available on terrorist casualties.
Over the past two days, officials said, numerous reliable sources saw 50 al Qaeda terrorists staging weapons at a train station. Marine Corps F/A-18s destroyed the building using precision-guided 500-pound bombs.
Coalition aircraft attacked similar safe houses Aug. 26 and Aug. 30 in Husaybah after Iraqi citizens reported that a large group of terrorists was using an abandoned hotel and house to plan and launch attacks on local Iraqis and coalition forces.
For the past five months, officials said, Marines based at Husaybah have reported an escalation in fighting between terrorists and local tribes, as well as in attacks on the Marines.
In other news from Iraq, multinational forces located and destroyed a significant weapons cache in an isolated area near the town of Khalidiyah on Aug. 31. Responding to a tip from a concerned citizen, the coalition forces destroyed 22 122 mm artillery shells, which terrorists routinely use for car and roadside bombs.
Coalition aircraft flew 38 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Aug. 31 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials reported. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces in creating a secure environment for ongoing Transitional National Assembly meetings.
U.S. Air Force F-16s provided close air support to coalition troops near Hazah. Eight U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors, officials said.
In the air war over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 15 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, officials said. These missions included support to coalition and Afghan troops, the parliamentary and provincial election process, patrols, border security and reconstruction activities.
Royal Air Force GR-7s provided close air support to coalition troops near Deh Rawood. Five U.S. Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force and French air force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role, officials said.
U.S. Air Force C-17s and C-130s provided heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. About 165 airlift sorties were flown, moving more than 3,790 passengers and nearly 330 short tons of cargo. This includes about 15,000 pounds of troop re-supply cargo airdropped to coalition ground forces in northeastern Afghanistan.
Coalition C-130 crews from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Japan flew in support of either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.
On Aug. 30, U.S. Air Force and French air force tankers flew 33 sorties and offloaded nearly 1.9 million pounds of fuel.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces news releases.)