Coalition Detains 24 Terrorists, Kills 12 Others, in Ramadi Raids
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2005 Acting on intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens, coalition forces detained 24 terrorists and killed at least 12 others in a series of raids near Ramadi on Oct. 14, officials said.
The terrorists are suspected of being affiliated with senior al Qaeda leaders in Ramadi and the Euphrates River Valley.
In the first raid, coalition forces attacked a suspected terrorist safe house. They found a weapons cache with mortar rounds, small arms and ammunition.
Coalition forces then raided two additional suspected terrorist safe houses. There they found 10 mortar rounds buried in the road, all designed to protect the safe house entrance, officials said. Coalition forces bypassed these improvised explosive devices and moved to two nearby houses where numerous armed terrorists were seen entering.
As coalition forces closed in on the terrorists, they took fire. They called in close air support and returned fire. When they entered the safe houses they found six dead terrorists and a weapons cache with small arms and ammunition, officials said.
That weapons cache and the previously discovered weapons cache were destroyed. Moreover, while these raids were occurring, coalition forces simultaneously raided four other suspected terrorist safe houses.
Terrorists in the first of these suspected four safe houses engaged coalition forces before fleeing into a nearby tree line. They returned fire and killed one terrorist. They then used close air support to kill at least five more fleeing terrorists, officials said.
Coalition forces then raided the three other suspected terrorist safe houses, where they detained 22 suspects without incident. Coalition forces also stopped a suspicious looking vehicle with four males who had been seen roaming in the area. Two of these individuals were detained, officials said.
Coalition forces have used raids to capture and kill numerous terrorists, including two senior al Qaeda operatives -- Walid Muhammad Farhan Juwar al Zubaydi (also known as The Barberâ) and Ibrahim Muhammad Subhi Khayri al Rihawi (also known as Abu Khalil) - in Baghdad on Sept. 24, officials said.
The Barberâ was responsible for altering the appearance of senior al Qaeda in order to help them avert capture. He did this by dying hair, altering hairstyles, and changing facial hair, officials said. Abu Khalil was a close associate and executive assistant for the terrorist emir Abu Azzam. He also acted as Azzam's banker, storing al Qaeda funds so that they would not be confiscated in the event Abu Azzam ever was killed or captured, officials said.
In related news, coalition aircraft flew 62 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties on Oct. 14 in Iraq. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities, officials said.
U.S. Navy F-18s provided close air support to coalition troops engaged with terrorists in the vicinity of Karabilah. F-18s dropped two bombs on buildings that the terrorists were using as firing positions.
U.S. Air Force F-16s launched air strikes against terrorist safe houses in the vicinity of Ar Ramadi. The F-16s dropped four bombs.
Air Force F-15s and F-16s and Navy F-18s provided close air support to Coalition troops near Al Hillah, Al Mansuriyah, Baquba, Basrah, Kirkuk, Madain, Mosul and Tall Afar, officials said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces news releases.)