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Recent Ops in Iraq Kill Extremists, Nab Suspects, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2007 – Coalition forces killed four insurgents and detained 46 in operations across Iraq since Aug. 3, officials in Baghdad reported.

Coalition Forces detained 33 suspected terrorists during operations yesterday targeting al Qaeda and its associates in Kirkuk and the Tigris River Valley.

In Mosul, coalition forces captured the alleged leader of a terrorist group responsible for placing roadside bombs. The forces detained another person with ties to the group, which is linked to al Qaeda.

During a raid on several buildings west of Tarmiyah, coalition forces detained 20 suspected terrorists for their association with the alleged al Qaeda emir of the northern belts around Baghdad, officials said.

Intelligence reports indicate the terrorist leader's network is responsible for extortion, kidnappings, training female suicide bombers and car bomb attacks using chlorine. One of the detainees led coalition forces to a nearby cache of bomb-making materials, which an explosives team safely destroyed.

In Bayji, coalition forces targeted a sniper cell leader associated with an al Qaeda emir in the area. The forces detained four suspected terrorists associated with the alleged leader, who reportedly oversees 35 snipers.

In Kirkuk, Iraqi and coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda media emir believed to operate a media cell in Kirkuk. Three individuals were detained for their alleged association with the media cell.

Iraqi and coalition forces detained two people during a nearby operation targeting a bomb-making cell member believed to be part of the terrorist group responsible for the July 16 car-bomb attacks in Kirkuk.

Before dawn yesterday, coalition forces conducted a raid to capture or kill suspected special groups cell operatives in Qasirin.

The special groups operatives are suspected of coordinating logistical support from Iran for rogue Jaysh al Mahdi elements and special groups operating in Iraq. The 18 suspects detained also are believed to have been involved in explosive attacks against coalition forces.

During the operation, coalition forces killed four armed terrorists when they began to maneuver against ground troops.

During the engagement, coalition forces employed a fixed-wing close-air-support aircraft to destroy a weapons cache. Coalition forces also destroyed six cars that were being used by the suspected terrorists.

Iraq forces, with U.S. special operations forces as advisors, conduced several operations resulting in detentions Aug. 3 and 4.

Near Fallujah, Iraqi army forces captured a senior al Qaeda cell that conducts beheadings and torture during a helicopter assault raid yesterday.

Iraqi soldiers detained their primary suspect and four additional people of interest without incident at a home near Karmah, northeast of Fallujah. Assault rifles, ammunition, cassette tapes, propaganda materials and photos also were seized.

The primary suspect is second in command of an al Qaeda cell in Karmah. He allegedly is responsible for about 40 executions in which he personally kidnapped, tortured and killed people or gave orders for others to do so. Some of those killed were beheaded.

He and his cell are alleged to have helped foreign fighters, smuggled large weapons caches into Iraq and planned attacks against Iraqi security forces and facilities.

A day earlier, members of the Iraqi army detained three people in Diwaniyah during an operation intended to disrupt a rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi insurgent group.

After detaining the individuals, Iraqi and U.S. forces encountered enemy small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. They called in air support and delivered proportionate fire that killed the three insurgents.

The three people detained allegedly are responsible for attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces in the Diwaniyah area.

On Aug. 3, Iraqi Army Forces detained two suspected insurgents believed to be members of an al Qaeda in Iraq cell operating in and around Taji.

With U.S. special operations forces present as advisers, Iraqi soldiers detained the two suspects without incident at a residence northwest of Taji. Assault rifles, ammunition and identification cards also were seized during the operation.

The detainees are suspected members of an al Qaeda cell, which is believed to be responsible for planning roadside bomb attacks, smuggling weapons and facilitating foreign fighters in and around the Taji, Karma, Nasser Wa Salaam and Dra Dijla areas.

Earlier that day, Iraqi security forces conducted an early-morning raid, detaining two people believed to be responsible for improvised explosive device attacks in the area.

The primary target, believed to be the al Qaeda emir in Samarra, was detained without incident. One other person present during the raid was also detained.

The Iraqi security forces raided multiple targets in the surprise attack against the suspected al-Qaeda cell.

The forces recovered five anti-armor homemade bomb canisters, remote firing devices, batteries, metal machining bits, various bomb-making materials, cell phones, AK-47 assault rifle magazines and fake identification cards and pictures.

The same day in Qaim, Iraqi soldiers detained three suspected members of an al Qaeda cell believed responsible for facilitating Iraqi insurgents and foreign fighters with weapons in the Qaim area.

The suspects were detained without incident near Karabilah, on the Euphrates River east of Qaim. Various documents, identification cards and passports also were seized during the operation.

On the outskirts of Diwaniyah yesterday, two F-16 Falcon fighter jets destroyed a rocket site that alleged Shi’a extremists linked to Jaysh al-Mahdi were suspected of using to target coalition forces.

According to preliminary reports, more than three members of the extremist group were killed in the bombing. The aircraft also destroyed a tractor-trailer used in the attempted rocket attack against the nearby military installation.

A local citizen called in the tip to U.S. Special Forces.

Elsewhere yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad Apache helicopter crews destroyed three enemy rockets and damaged five more at southeast of Baghdad.

The aircrews from the 4th "Guns" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, responded to a request for support from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

The ground unit had positively identified eight enemy rocket systems, set to launch by a timing mechanism.

Cleared by ground forces to engage the target, the air crews fired on the rockets, destroying three and damaging the other five. An explosives team later conducted a controlled detonation of the damaged rockets.

In west Mosul, Iraqi police correctional guards working at Badoush Prison ended a disturbance that involved nearly 65 inmates early Aug. 3. No prisoners escaped; one prisoner was killed attempting to escape.

The Iraqi correctional guards were preparing to move several dozen inmates into isolation for a pending prisoner transfer when the unrest occurred.

Coalition forces were supporting the planned transfer with an outer cordon around the prison, when the outbreak occurred. The coalition units on the scene reported that the prison guards acted swiftly to restore order.

One inmate was shot and killed by an Iraqi guard after attempting an escape from the prison yard. Two other inmates were injured by gunfire from the Iraqi correctional guards within the prison.

Casualties were treated at the medical facility in the prison, and all of the other inmates were placed on lockdown as the guards conducted accounted for all of the prisoners and checked them for injuries.

"The Iraqi Correctional Guards acted swiftly and decisively today in restoring order in what could have become a chaotic situation," said Army Maj. Rodger Lemons, operations officer, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "They demonstrated the patience, resolve and most importantly, restraint, which are the trademarks of a confident and capable force that cannot be intimidated."

Conditions have returned to normal at the prison and all prisoners are accounted for and secured. Internal damages to the cell-block area are still being assessed.

Coalition Forces did not fire any rounds in the disturbance; there were no coalition soldiers or Iraqi Police or Correctional Guards injuries in the incident.

In operations Aug. 3 and 4, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers uncovered five weapons caches as clearing operations in Rashid District.

While searching an area with metal detectors, troops of Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, attached to Task Force Black Lion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, found rockets, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rocket-propelled-grenade rounds and a 60 mm mortar tube.

An explosives team destroyed the cache.

Elsewhere, "Black Lions" from Company B, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment found 10 mm rockets with wires attached, cases of American-made .50-caliber rounds and mortar rounds of various sizes.

Earlier that morning, soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, searched a house believed to be connected to an explosives cell and found body armor and a ballistic helmet, as well as cans of large caliber ammunition.

Also that day, Company A, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, found 120 mm mortar rounds still in their original packaging.

Two more caches were uncovered Aug. 3. Company B, 1st Battalion found the first cache on an abandoned farm in east Rashid. An explosives team was called in to destroy the .50-caliber rounds, RPGS, a machine gun barrel, 762 mm rounds, a high-explosive anti-tank grenade and mortar fuse caps.

Later that day, soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, found sticks of explosives, blasting caps, an assault rifle and full AK-47 assault-rifle magazines. The explosives were taken to a coalition forces base for disposal.

Ongoing Iraqi-led clearing operations in Samarra have resulted in the detention of more than 80 suspected terrorists operations began July 31.

The joint operations, dubbed "Operation Jalil," targeted suspected al Qaeda elements working throughout the city.

They are believed to be responsible for numerous acts of terrorism and attacks on coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and the local populace.

The most recent large-scale attack was the June 13 bombing of two minarets of the holy Shia Muslim shrine, the Askariya Mosque.

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Rashid al-Helfy led more than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen from the 4th Iraqi Army Division, Askariya Police Brigade and local police in capturing the suspected terrorists and discovery of a number of homemade bombs.

Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, served a supporting role in the operations.

The joint operations continue in and around the city.

(From Multinational Force Iraq, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian Peninsula, and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Corps Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq


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