Officials in Iraq Detail Recent Phantom Thunder Operations
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 25, 2007 Military officials in Iraq have detailed numerous operations in which Iraqi and coalition forces killed or capture al Qaeda operatives and other suspected terrorists and uncovered illegal weapons caches in Iraq.
Among recent operations:
-- In Mosul today, coalition forces killed a known terrorist leader. Khalid Sultan Khulayf Shakir al-Badrani, also known as Abu Abdullah, was the al Qaeda in Iraq emir of western Mosul. He had a direct hand in numerous terrorist activities in the area, including kidnappings, suicide bombings and attacks on coalition forces, officials reported. In 2005, he facilitated the movement of weapons and foreign fighters into Mosul for al Qaeda operations.
-- As part of an effort to deny Iranian influence in Iraq, coalition forces killed four secret-cell terrorists during pre-dawn operations today in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood. While approaching the targeted area, ground forces came under heavy small-arms fire, took appropriate self-defense measures and called for close-air support. The air strike suppressed the enemy fire, but as the ground forces moved toward the objective, they received small-arms fire from terrorists using a car for cover. Coalition forces destroyed the car with a main gun round fired from a U.S. main battle tank.
-- Coalition forces detained 15 suspected terrorists today during two coordinated operations just north of Baghdad targeting associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. The suspects allegedly are members of the Baghdad car bomb network, and two of the detainees are believed to be bodyguards for the senior leader.
-- Northwest of the capital city today, coalition forces raided three buildings associated with another al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader tied to the Baghdad car-bomb network. The ground force detained 13 suspected terrorists for their alleged association with the network.
-- Based on information gained from successful operations June 13 and 16, coalition forces targeted the al Qaeda in Iraq senior leadership east of Fallujah today. During raids on several buildings in the area, the ground force detained 13 suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to the senior leaders.
-- Coalition forces today captured a suspected terrorist east of Fallujah who allegedly facilitates the movement of foreign fighters for al Qaeda in Iraq. One other suspected terrorist was detained in the operation.
-- Iraqi army forces detained two suspected al Qaeda cell leaders during an operation yesterday south of Baghdad. The two detainees are believed to have been involved in attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces, death squad activities against local civilians, housing foreign fighters, transporting weapons and running a medical clinic for wounded terrorists. Iraqi forces detained six other individuals found at the targeted residence. They also confiscated weapons and a large amount of currency at the scene.
-- In a targeted raid yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers in the city’s Adhamiyah district captured two suspected terrorists, including a man believed to have been responsible for a June 23 roadside bomb attack that killed five U.S. soldiers, an interpreter an Iraqi woman and three children. The early morning raid by soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team netted the two suspects, a pistol and various insurgent propaganda materials.
-- Troops from the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, were attacked several times by insurgents with small arms fire June 23 and yesterday. The soldiers returned fire in the engagements, killing six insurgents and taking five more into custody.
-- Two late-night raids June 23 by Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers in northwestern Baghdad targeted a suspected roadside bomb supplier and an alleged coordinator of suicide-car-bomb attacks. The raids netted five suspects, a machine gun and a pistol.
-- Soldiers led a June 23 air assault into a rural area west of the Al Saidi neighborhood in Taji, detaining four suspected al Qaeda operatives. One of the suspects is believed to be directly involved in an attack that killed four coalition soldiers and their interpreter earlier this week.
-- Scouts conducted a June 23 raid into a rural area east of the Taji’s Ahmad Al Hussein neighborhood, detaining one individual suspected of coordinating suicide car bomb attacks in the Baghdad region.
-- Soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team killed three insurgents trying to plant a roadside bomb in the Mualameen neighborhood of eastern Baghdad June 23. The soldiers shot and killed the man planting the bomb. Two other men in a nearby vehicle attempted to ram the soldiers, who killed them.
-- Also on June 23, Operation Bull Run, which supports Marne Torch, netted two weapons caches, five roadside bombs and two vehicles
-- Paratroopers from the 25th Infantry Division’s 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment packed inside a helicopter June 23 to carry out an air assault on an insurgent stronghold and captured five members of an insurgent cell in north Babil.
-- Iraqi Army and coalition forces discovered a car bomb factory and cache yesterday after receiving tips from Mosul citizens of in the area of a previously discovered site used in the manufacturing of homemade explosives, roadside bombs and car bombs.
-- Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, found a cache in northwest Rashid June 23, which included a PKM machine gun with spare barrel, 400 rounds of belted ammunition, three rocket-propelled grenade launchers with 10 grenades, seven AK-47 assault rifles, a sniper rifle, a bolt-action rifle, loose 7.62 mm small-arms ammunition and bomb-making materials. Several bullet-resistant vests and ammunition bandoliers were also confiscated.
-- Earlier June 23, soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, seized another cache in East Rashid, discovering several 15-pound bags of homemade explosives, rocket-propelled grenade rounds, blasting caps, loose ammunition and other bomb-making materials. The combined forces searched the area and discovered three incomplete car bombs, a motor scooter, more than a dozen tanks of acetylene, other chemicals and multiple bomb-making materials.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Corps Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)