Search for Missing Soldiers Continues
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, May. 15, 2007 Coalition and Iraqi forces have been working around the clock since a pre-dawn attack May 12 that left one Iraqi and four U.S. soldiers dead and three other U.S. soldiers missing, Multinational Corps Iraq officials reported today.
Every asset has been brought to bear in the hunt for the missing troops, who belong to Multinational Division Center, including search dogs, trucks with speakers, unmanned aerial vehicles, law enforcement advisors, and both U.S. and Iraqi troops, officials said.
In a news conference today, Army officials at Fort Drum, N.Y., confirmed that the dead and missing soldiers are from Fort Drum’s 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. The names of the soldiers have not been released.
Personnel monitoring Iraqi tip call-in lines also have been busy, Multinational Corps Iraq officials said. Thousands of leaflets requesting information leading to the return of the soldiers have been dropped. The leaflets list telephone numbers for tip lines, and the information given is routed to units in the area.
Army Maj. Kenny Mintz, the brigade operations officer for the 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, said the unit’s participation in the search for the soldiers is continuing by all available means.
“Right now our focus is on searching for the missing soldiers, and we’re trying to isolate the areas where we think they could be,” Mintz said. “The (captors) don’t have freedom of movement; if they have the soldiers, they can’t move them from where they are. We’re doing a deliberate search of the areas for the people responsible for the soldiers we’re looking for.”
The soldiers went missing after a convoy carrying seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter was ambushed by enemy forces as it traveled west of Mahmudiyah, Iraq, during a search for roadside bombs. The attack site is located about 20 miles south of Baghdad.
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release,)