Iraqi Citizens Keep Leading U.S. Forces to Weapons and Suspects
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2004 Iraqi citizens continue to point U.S. troops to sites where weapons and ammunitions are being found even in some cases hand delivering turn-in of the deadly munitions.
Over the past week there have been at least four incidents where Iraqi civilians have led U.S. troops to hidden stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, coalition officials report.
In Mosul, a concerned group of citizens in northwestern Iraq, known as the Coalition of Iraqi Unity, led soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, Feb. 26 to a large cache of weapons, according to a Central Command release.
The cache contained 39 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, 10 RPG boosters, three RPG launchers, one RPG sight, two 155 mm artillery rounds, three 82 mm mortar rounds, 256 60 mm mortar rounds, 15 120 mm mortar rounds, one antipersonnel mine, nine blasting caps, 500 7.62 mm rounds, 124 14.5 mm rounds, 360 40 mm rounds and 90 rifle-propelled smoke grenades.
Another concerned Iraqi citizen came to the squadron headquarters in Tall Afar and turned in one RPG launcher, an antiaircraft gun and 200 anti-aircraft gun rounds Feb. 26.
In Tikrit, CENTCOM officials reported that an Iraqi citizen provided information that helped soldiers from 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, capture three suspects along with one RPG launcher, six 82 mm mortar rounds and five ammunition magazines filled with AK-47 ammunition.
Soldiers from the unit raided a building in Sordonia, nine kilometers southwest of Riyadh, Feb. 24 looking for a weapons cache and the persons responsible for storing the weapons.
Another Iraqi citizen provided information to the battalion about a possible weapons and ammunition cache south of Kirkuk, the CENTCOM news release stated. Soldiers went to the location Feb. 24 and discovered one 37 mm anti-aircraft gun and 100 rounds of 37 mm anti-aircraft ammunition. The patrol disabled the weapon with hand grenades and an explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the ammunition.
Meanwhile, in the past week coalition troops have also continued to find and seize weapons stockpiles throughout the country.
Soldiers from the Task Force 1st Armored Division seized a weapons cache in the Al Rashid district Feb. 24 during a routine patrol. Confiscated were 50 122 mm artillery rounds, 36 125 mm artillery rounds, 200 14.5 mm rounds, 10 fuses and two hand grenades, according to a CENTCOM release.
On the same day, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, discovered an ammunition cache southeast of Kirkuk. The cache consisted of 126 60 mm mortars and 60 82 mm mortar rounds. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the munitions.
Officials reported U.S. Army psychological operations teams moving out into communities of Baghdad to combat fear and misinformation being spread by anti- coalition elements.
Soldiers from the 315th Psychological Operations Unit, San Jose, Calif., part of Task Force 1st Armored Division, are meeting with residents to ensure that the Iraqi people "hear and see the truth" about what is happening in their country, according to a news release from Combined Joint Task Force 7.
The teams are distributing copies of Baghdad Now, a bimonthly newspaper written in Arabic and English by Iraqi journalists. The newspaper contains neighborhood news and events, and information from local military leaders.