Iraqi, U.S. Forces Kill 12 in Helicopter Raid Near Samarra
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2007 Iraqi and U.S. forces killed 12 enemy extremists during a helicopter assault raid outside Samarra, Iraq, today.
Multiple al Qaeda terrorists positioned in buildings engaged Iraqi forces with coalition advisors. Iraq and U.S. forces responded with suppressive fire, while U.S. helicopters provided direct air support.
Upon clearing the objective, the assault force detained three individuals. A fourth individual was positively identified as a hostage being held for ransom by the insurgents. Three U.S. soldiers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to Balad Air Base for treatment.
In operations yesterday, U.S. Special Forces advised Iraqi army scouts as they detained a high-level insurgent working for terrorist groups in the Yarmouk area, near Baghdad.
The suspect is accused of ordering the assassination of a security guard for a local school and the attempted murder of an Iraqi policeman. In addition, he allegedly has ordered his cell members to attack citizens who oppose his terrorist criminal activities and those who support efforts to provide security and stability in the region. He also allegedly is responsible for numerous kidnappings, murders, and improvised-explosive-device and indirect-fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
Forces detained seven other individuals believed to be linked to this terrorist cell while seizing four AK-47 assault rifles, a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun during the raid.
In a separate operation yesterday, members of an Iraqi army reconnaissance unit with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained a suspected terrorist in Taji during an air assault operation. Intelligence reports indicate the cell member acquired fuel and materials to prepare car bombs for use against Iraqi and coalition forces. Forces detained one other suspicious individual during the raid and seized two weapons.
In operations on Sept. 8, soldiers of 15th Infantry Regiment conducted a night air assault operation near Salman Pak, detaining 14 men and finding a weapons cache. During the mission, soldiers of 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade engaged two hostile gunmen, killing both. They also discovered a weapons cache consisting of several AK-47 rifles, a machine gun, a shotgun, several belts and magazines of AK-47 and machine-gun ammunition, a camera, and two black ski masks.
In an operation Sept. 6, coalition soldiers arrested an alleged high-ranking al Qaeda leader and detained three other suspects north of Baghdad during a dismounted raid.
The alleged cell leader is suspected of involvement in launching attacks on civilians, Iraqi security forces, Iraqi security volunteers and coalition forces. The three others detained are suspected of assisting in the execution of these attacks. Working with other members of his cell, the leader is believed responsible for fabricating and emplacing car bombs and roadside bombs, as well as for kidnappings in the area.
"We are breaking the (al Qaeda in Iraq) network with the help of local volunteers and concerned citizens," said Army Lt. Col. Peter Andrysiak, deputy commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)