Joint Iraqi-American Operations Keep Terrorists on the Defensive
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2005 Iraqi and American forces in Baghdad and Tikrit have launched a series of operations this past week that have thwarted terrorist activities and disrupted terrorist cells in these two key cities, officials say.
In a Nov. 15 cordon-and-search operation, a platoon from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade nabbed five members of a terrorist who had been planning an attack on the Italian Embassy in Baghdad. The Iraqi soldiers also seized two vehicles, which the terrorists had planned to use in the attack.
Also on Nov. 15, U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, discovered wires, computer parts, timers and 14 AK-47 assault rifle magazines. The soldiers made this discovery in a home that they searched while conducting operations in southwest Baghdad. The home owner was detained for further questioning.
Other soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division discovered a weapons cache of 22 60-millimeter mortar rounds and 18 fuses on Nov. 15 while searching a farm in south Baghdad. An EOD team later destroyed the munitions.
An alert Iraqi Police officer discovered an improvised explosive device in a black bag near a bus stop in west Baghdad on Nov. 16. An explosives ordnance disposal team confirmed that the bag contained an anti-tank mine wired to a detonation device. Officials say the EOD team recovered the explosives and rendered the area safe.
In a three-day cordon-and-search operation that ended Nov. 16, the Iraqi Army led the way as coalition forces rooted out terrorist cell leaders who have developed, distributed and emplaced IEDs.
The operation took place in Sadr City and involved soldiers from 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade, along with U.S. soldiers. This joint force detained 23 terrorist suspects, while seizing weapons, ammunition and anti-Iraq propaganda materials, officials say.
In all, they note, Iraqi Army units conducted more than 1,250 patrols during the three-day period that ended Nov. 16.
U.S. soldiers, meanwhile, continue to capture likely terrorists who are seen loitering around attack sites.
Two Task Force Baghdad units searched and caught a rooftop lurker who was watching an IED attack while talking on his cell phone. This followed an IED attack on a 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry convoy in west Baghdad on Nov. 15, officials say.
11th Cavalry Regiment soldiers detained two likely terrorists who were loitering around an IED site in Baghdad on Nov. 15. The soldiers were standing guard as an EOD team dismantled an IED. Military officials say the likely terrorists later were found to have handled explosives.
Also in Baghdad on Nov. 15, soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, killed three terrorists while detaining eight terrorist suspects after being attacked with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Officials said the soldiers pursued the attackers and returned fire, but suffered no casualties or equipment damage.
In north-central Iraq, two joint missions between Iraqi and U.S. forces resulted in the detention of nine terrorist suspects last week, officials say.
The first mission involved a joint patrol in Kirkuk with Iraqi police officers and soldiers from the 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division; the second a raid near Baqubah with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division and soldiers from the 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division.
In Kirkuk, Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers reportedly discovered small cache of weapons while detaining two terrorist suspects. Officials say the Iraqi police noticed that one of the men was acting suspiciously, so they questioned him.
The patrol escorted the man to his home where they discovered and confiscated a cache of two AK-47 assault rifles, two bolt-action rifles and hundreds of rounds of sniper-rifle ammunition. The police and soldiers also discovered a supply of batteries that are often used to detonate IEDs.
The raid near Baqubah resulted in the capture of seven suspects, five of whom had been targeted because they were known terrorists, officials say. The other two suspects tested positive for explosives residue and were detained for further questioning.
A Nov. 17 raid near Ad Dawr by the 1st BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, resulted in the capture of one terrorist, the death of another and the confiscation of IED materials. The soldiers reportedly worked off tips provided by previously captured detainees to conduct the raid.
When cornered, one suspect surrendered and the other attempted to flee by driving out of the cordoned area, officials say. The soldiers fired warning shots to deter the suspect; however, when that failed, hey fired into the passenger compartment, wounding the driver and stopping the vehicle.
The driver later died from his wounds while being evacuated to a nearby medical facility. His remains were turned over to the local Iraqi police. A search of the area turned up several devices used to manufacture IEDs and also terrorist videos and compact disks, officials say.
Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division, discovered three 120-millimeter mortar rounds, 1,000 rounds of 7.62-millimeter ammunition, 60-millimeter mortar system, one 60-millimeter mortar and various homemade explosives during a Nov. 18 cordon-and-search operation in Baghdad. An Iraqi citizen then informed them that terrorist forces planned to attack them at that site.
The soldiers responded by conducting a cordon-and search of a house identified by the informant. This resulted in the capture of five suspected terrorists, who are believed to have planned an attack on the cache site, officials say.