IED Claims Marine in Ramadi; Foreign Fighter Facilitator Killed
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2005 A Marine assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed in action when the vehicle he was in was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Ramadi, Iraq, Oct. 8, military officials reported.
The Marine's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Elsewhere, coalition forces killed a known al Qaeda in Iraq member near Fallujah before he could activate a suicide bomb strapped to his body Oct. 8.
Abu Sarmad had facilitated transportation and housing for foreign fighters and suicide bombers who had been smuggled into Iraq through Syria, officials said.
Also, he received support and guidance from Saudi Arabian extremist financiers and was believed to be a major link for supporting terrorist activity between al Qaeda in Iraq in Baghdad and the western Euphrates River valley.
Sarmad was wearing a suicide bomb vest and appeared to be prepared to kill himself and others in the event of his capture. Coalition assault forces shot him before he could activate the explosives strapped around his torso.
Eight other suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.
In other Iraq news, troops from the 3rd Iraqi Army Division captured three terrorists after being attacked Oct. 8 in the vicinity of Biaj.
After striking an IED and coming under small-arms fire, the Iraqi troops counterattacked, performed a cordon-and-search operation and netted the insurgents.
Three soldiers suffered minor injuries, and no damages were reported. Authorities are holding the insurgents for questioning.
In western Iraq, Iraqi security forces and Marines, soldiers and sailors from Regimental Combat Team 2 continued Operation River Gate in the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana on Oct. 8.
In Haditha, Iraqi security forces discovered propaganda production equipment in a house while conducting clearing operations. The seizure included numerous prepared al Qaeda in Iraq compact discs and audiotapes, three computers, several printers, banner makers, multi-disc copiers and thousands of blank discs and tapes.
Iraqi security forces and coalition forces also discovered a bomb-making factory in Haditha. The site included numerous pre-wired bombs, several mortar rounds and bomb-making supplies such as explosive propellant, blasting caps and detonation cord.
Since the operation began Oct. 4, more than 200 suspected insurgents have been detained, officials said.
The operation's goal is to deny al Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate in the Western Euphrates River Valley cities and to free the local citizens from the insurgents' campaign of murder and intimidation targeting innocent women, children and men, officials said.
In Baghdad, coalition forces conducting combat operations captured eight terror suspects and seized bomb-making materials, two weapons caches and terrorist propaganda Oct. 7.
U.S. soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, and a platoon of Estonian soldiers found the larger of the two weapons caches while working together in northwestern Baghdad. Soon after beginning their search, the soldiers found a bomb made of a mortar round encased in a block of concrete, two bomb detonators, and a rocket-propelled grenade sight.
The patrol then searched 34 houses in the neighborhood, capturing seven bomb-making suspects and seizing a cache containing four blasting caps, batteries, 30 feet of insulated wire, three toggle switches, and two electronic voltmeters.
The soldiers also found six AK-47 assault rifles with 12 fully loaded magazines and rifle scopes. They also seized two fake Iraqi army uniforms, one protective mask and anti-coalition propaganda.
The seven bomb-making suspects were taken into custody for questioning.
Task Force Baghdad soldiers unearthed a second weapons cache near a major highway in southwestern Baghdad. The cache contained seven RPG warheads and boosters, two fuses, 34 magazines and 50 rounds of ammunition.
Throughout the day, U.S. soldiers providing security in and around the capital city found four roadside bombs before terrorists could use them to attack civilians, Iraqi security forces or coalition forces. Explosive ordnance disposal teams safely disposed of the munitions.
In other developments, Iraqi police killed two terrorists before they could detonate a car bomb in eastern Baghdad Oct. 6. Three plainclothes Iraqi police officers were on patrol when they noticed a car stopped on the side of the road. The driver was behind the wheel, but the passenger was standing outside the car and talking on a cell phone.
The terrorists, believed to be from the town of Ramadi, pulled their weapons and fired after the police officers identified themselves and asked a few simple questions about what they were doing and if they had their vehicle registration.
"When the terrorists fired at us, they hit one of us in the arm, but all three of us took cover and immediately fired back," said Dafer, of the El Wea Police Department.
Within seconds, the police officers killed both terrorists. The Iraqi police called for more support on the radio and provided first aid to their wounded comrade.
After calling for backup, the officers noticed missiles and containers of propane gas, so they called an explosive ordnance disposal team. The EOD team deactivated the car bomb and hauled it away, moving the explosives to a safe location.
In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 50 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 8 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities, officials said.
Sorties included U.S. Navy F-14s and F/A-18s that provided close-air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Hawijah and Karkuk.
In addition, nine U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)