Coalition Forces Disrupt Foreign Terrorist, al Qaeda Networks
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2007 Coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained 10 suspects today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda and foreign terrorist networks in central and northern Iraq.
Coalition forces targeted a suspected terrorist involved in planning improvised-explosive-device attacks and facilitating foreign terrorists during operations in Tuz, south of Kirkuk. Reports indicate he was a chief planner of July suicide car-bomb attacks that killed more than 70 Iraqi people and injured more than 130 in Kirkuk.
Upon arriving at the target area, the ground force saw three individuals evading them by maneuvering south. Coalition forces pursued the suspects into a tunnel system near a river. A fourth armed man engaged the ground force from a defensive position and was killed with coalition sniper fire. Coalition forces called for supporting aircraft to engage the enemy in the tunnels, killing two terrorists. Later, the assault force safely destroyed the tunnel system with an air strike to prevent further use by terrorists.
As the ground force secured the target area, a suspected terrorist came out of the building with an unknown object above his head. The individual did not comply with instructions and displayed hostile intent toward coalition forces when asked to drop the object, U.S. officials said. Responding in self defense, the force killed the terrorist. Another man, dressed in women’s clothing, apparently was attempting to elude forces; he and another suspect were detained.
Elsewhere today, information gained from previous missions led coalition forces to an area in Samarra believed to be associated with al Qaeda media activities. As ground forces entered the target area, four men, three of whom were armed, did not comply with instructions and evasively maneuvered into nearby palm groves. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force engaged and killed the four. Two individuals on site confirmed the terrorists were previously in the Iraqi military and claimed the men terrorized the neighborhood. As the ground force secured the area, troops found several weapons and ammunition, and detained two suspects.
During another operation, coalition forces captured one wanted individual in Mosul believed to be an associate of several foreign terrorists and to have knowledge of the facilitation network. The ground force detained the wanted individual along with two other suspects on site without incident.
In Ramadi, coalition forces captured one wanted individual believed to be a foreign terrorist facilitator. Reports indicate the wanted individual was associated with leaders within the foreign terrorist network. One machine gun was found, along with multiple identification cards. Two other suspects were detained without incident.
“We’ve taken another step toward a peaceful Iraq,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “By disrupting foreign and al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist operations, innocent civilians can go about their lives without worrying about terrorist attacks.”
In operations earlier this week:
-- Multinational Division Baghdad troops found five mortar rounds and detained one suspect in the western part of the Rashid district yesterday when they responded to an indirect-fire attack. "Black Lions" from Company B, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, responded to the attack and found five 120 mm rounds and called in explosive ordnance disposal personnel to remove the munitions. During a search of the area, the soldiers detained the suspected insurgent. The mortar rounds were detonated on site, while the suspect has been detained for further questioning.
-- Soldiers from 1st Iraqi Army Division and 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, launched Operation Fahwat al Asad II on Nov. 4, which included both ground and air assault forces searching numerous potential insurgent locations to defeat al Qaeda elements operating in the Thar Thar region. During the opening phases of the operation, two car-bomb facilities and a number of weapons caches were destroyed, and about 30 males were detained.
"The purpose of this operation is to deny al Qaeda a safe haven and eliminate their freedom of maneuver," said Army Col. John Charlton, 1st BCT commander. "They have exploited this area, and this operation will prevent them from conducting future attacks."
-- Three separate weapons caches were found in areas south of Baghdad on Nov. 3. Two of the caches were found by local citizens. In Hawr Rajab, concerned local citizens found a cache of four 57 mm projectiles taped together. The citizens brought the ordnance to soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Richardson, Alaska, for safe disposal. Local children in Hawr Rajab pointed out the location of a cache to soldiers from 1st Battalion, 40th Cavalry Regiment. The cache consisted of six 82 mm mortars. In Arab Jabour, soldiers from 3rd Infantry Division discovered a weapons cache that consisted of a 155 mm mortar round, a grenade and one rocket-propelled-grenade propellant charge.
"The (concerned local citizens) have added a dynamic to our offensive capabilities that have shaped the battlefield in ways that coalition forces alone could never have achieved," said Army Capt. Chad Klascius, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team commander. "Working with local nationals to create positive results and a safer environment is one of the most rewarding missions we've endeavored. Not only are we defeating al Qaeda, but the work of the local nationals gives us hope for the future of Iraq."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)