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Strikes Level Four Zarqawi Safe Houses, Enemy Command Post

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2004 – U.S. forces continue to zero in on terrorist activities in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, as air strikes today destroyed four more insurgent safe houses and Marine aircraft knocked out an enemy outpost.

The strikes destroyed meeting places for militants loyal to fugitive Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose terror network now has formally tied itself to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror organization. The United States has issued a standing offer of $25 million for information leading to Zarqawi being killed or captured.

A U.S. Marine air strike today destroyed a known insurgent command and control facility in northern Fallujah. Multinational forces observed activities at the outpost for 30 days, officials said. The insurgents were seen reinforcing fighting positions, storing ammunition and emplacing improvised explosive devices.

U.S. and Iraqi forces now ring Fallujah, a hotbed of insurgent resistance against the interim Iraqi government and the presence of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.

An Oct. 19 in southern Fallujah severely damaged or destroyed some other suspected insurgent safe houses that contained explosives or ammunition caches, officials said.

Multinational Force Iraq operations in Fallujah disrupt terrorist planning activities, save innocent Iraqi lives, and help effect stability in the country, officials said.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi child was killed and 11 1st Infantry Division soldiers and one civilian interpreter were wounded when a pair of bombs hidden in vehicles exploded near the city center in Samarra today. The soldiers were evacuated to a Multinational Force medical center for treatment, and were reported to be in stable condition.

In other news, a suspected terror cell leader and recruiter of insurgents was apprehended in eastern Baghdad by U.S. troops during an Oct. 18 raid.

The suspect was hard to capture, Platoon Sgt. Robert Fisher, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, noted, because "he had several places he lived" and "didn't stay in one spot."

The detainee, who's accused of masterminding 200 mortar attacks on a U.S. troop compound in Baghdad, apparently remained elusive by moving among dwellings in Fallujah and in the Baghdad neighborhoods of Damyia and Rusafa.

During a search of the suspect's house, U.S. troops found a mortar tube, a mortar plate, and bomb-making material used to fabricate roadside bombs.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command news releases.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
U.S. Central Command


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