Coalition Forces Kill Four Terrorists, Detain One in Central Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26, 2007 Coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained one suspect today during operations targeting al Qaeda in central Iraq.
In continued efforts to disrupt terrorist activities in the Diyala River Valley, coalition forces conducted two coordinated operations north of Muqdadiyah targeting associates of the al Qaeda network in the region. Intelligence reports indicate the individuals are associated with the group that was involved in several firefights with coalition forces during operations on Dec. 12 and 13.
During one of the operations, the ground force called for occupants to come out of the target area, but they did not comply. Coalition forces approached the target area and were engaged by enemy fire. The ground force pulled back to a safe position and called for supporting aircraft to engage. Coalition forces assessed that two terrorists were killed from the strike.
Nearby, coalition forces confirmed the presence of the wanted individuals associated with the previous target, and supporting aircraft again engaged. Once the area was cleared, the ground force assessed two terrorists were killed, one of whom was armed with a suicide vest.
West of Tarmiyah, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be a close associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq leader for the network north of Baghdad. The network is responsible for the majority of the car-bombing and improvised explosive device attacks in the area, officials said. They are also involved in extortion, intimidation, weapons trafficking and the facilitation of foreign terrorists.
“Al Qaeda continues to be a threat to the peace and stability of Iraq,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “Responding to this threat, Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to drive al Qaeda networks from their hiding places.”
Elsewhere, coalition forces killed 13 terrorists and detained 27 suspects Dec. 24 and yesterday during operations targeting al Qaeda in central and northern Iraq.
During a series of operations south of Samarra Dec. 24 and yesterday, coalition forces targeted an alleged senior-level foreign terrorist facilitator for al Qaeda in Iraq. The targeted individual is also believed to be responsible for the facilitation of weapons and finances and involved in suicide-bombing operations, some of which include female operatives.
Acting on intelligence reports, coalition forces targeted a location where the individual was believed to be operating and called supporting aircraft to engage. Four individuals emerged from the target area and attempted to evade capture. As coalition forces approached one of the individuals, the suspect detonated a suicide vest, killing himself. The ground force then located two of the suspects hiding in a wooded area.
Coalition forces engaged and killed the two men. Another individual, who was wounded in the initial engagement, was also found hiding in the wooded area and was subsequently detained. The suspect was treated on site and transported to a military medical facility for further care. During the series of operations in the area, coalition forces also detained 15 other suspected terrorists.
Farther north in Mosul, coalition forces targeted associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq leader allegedly responsible for coordinating and directing numerous terrorist attacks in the region. Intelligence reports indicate the individuals had executed a man earlier in the day and were later observed in the target area.
During an operation yesterday, coalition forces were engaged on two separate occasions by armed men as they attempted to clear target buildings in the area. The men charged at the coalition forces' position, and the ground force engaged the enemy, killing four terrorists. As the ground force continued to clear the area, they were engaged by machine gun fire and grenades from underneath one of the structures. Coalition forces returned fire and called for supporting aircraft to engage. Once enemy fire ceased, the ground force assessed that five terrorists were killed during the engagement. Coalition forces also detained one suspect during the operation.
In Baghdad Dec. 24, coalition forces targeted an alleged al Qaeda member involved in bomb-making operations within the south Karkh car-bombing network. As the ground force arrived in the area, they observed six men moving away from the target building. Coalition forces followed the men and detained four of the suspects. The two other individuals were subsequently engaged. One of them was killed, while the remaining suspect was wounded, detained and transported to a medical facility for treatment.
Five suspected terrorists were detained south of Hawija yesterday, during operations targeting an al Qaeda leader for the network operating in Kirkuk.
"We continue to disrupt al Qaeda networks that are conducting attacks against the Iraqi people and the security forces that protect them,” Danielson said. "Operations like these show that, while al Qaeda remains a threat, Iraqi and coalition forces will take the fight to the terrorists, diminishing their ability to attack innocent civilians."
Also yesterday, Multinational Division North soldiers killed two suspected extremists and detained four more in an intelligence-driven raid in Baqouba. The soldiers confirmed one of the suspected extremists killed was a member of a concerned local citizens group.
In Iraq operations Dec. 24:
-- Coalition forces detained two suspected criminals and killed two armed men during operations to disrupt criminal element networks in the al Kut area, southeast of Baghdad. The targeted individual was reportedly a special groups leader responsible for attacks against coalition forces and its supporters. He allegedly received training on urban combat tactics and explosives, including explosively formed penetrators and improvised explosive devices. The wanted individual is believed to have conducted surveillance against coalition forces to plan attacks against them.
-- During an operation in Baghdad, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be associated with a foreign terrorist and weapons facilitation network. Reports indicate the wanted individual is related to one of the key facilitators in the network, who is also allegedly involved in al Qaeda media and propaganda operations. In addition to the wanted individual, two suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.
-- Also in the capital city, coalition forces captured another wanted individual believed to be involved in media and propaganda operations. The wanted individual reportedly is associated with numerous terrorist leaders involved in media operations who operate in and outside of Iraq.
-- During a series of operations in Samarra, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists while targeting another alleged foreign terrorist facilitator. Reports indicate the targeted individual is associated with an al Qaeda leader who facilitates logistics, to include finances and weapons.
-- Farther north in Mosul, coalition forces detained one suspect while targeting an alleged terrorist responsible for coordinating and directing numerous attacks in the region.
-- Iraqi special operations forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained two suspected criminal extremists during a raid near the Iraqi village of Abu Saydah as Saghir, northeast of Baqubah, in Diyala province. The two suspects are believed to be responsible for IED attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, as well as the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi citizens. Additionally, the suspects are believed to have repeatedly targeted the families of Iraqi security forces for intimidation and forced civilians from their homes. During the operation, the assault force received small-arms fire from an individual on the target objective. Iraqi and U.S. forces engaged the individual, killing him.
-- An Iraqi National Police and coalition forces joint patrol uncovered a weapons cache Dec. 24 in eastern Baghdad. A patrol of 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade National Police, and 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, found the cache, which included an 81 mm mortar, two rocket-propelled grenade warheads and a 107 mm rocket with launcher.
-- A joint Iraqi National Police and coalition forces effort led to the discovery and detonation of an IED Dec. 24 in eastern Baghdad. Iraqi National Police officials and U.S. soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, foiled insurgent attempts to carry out an IED attack through this discovery.
In operations Dec. 23:
-- Two 3rd Infantry Division brigades quickly shared information and maneuvered AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from another 3rd Infantry Division brigade to intercept and kill five al Qaeda members southeast of Baghdad. Local citizens told soldiers from the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team that several key insurgents were crossing the Tigris River southeast of Baghdad the afternoon of Dec. 23. After receiving confirmation that the key insurgents were crossing the river, leaders from 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team directed an Apache air weapons team from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, to engage and kill the insurgents. After the engagement, forces from 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, conducted an air assault into the engagement area to develop intelligence for future operations.
-- Coalition forces detained 12 suspected terrorists during operations targeting al Qaeda networks in the Diyala River Valley region and northern Iraq. Coalition forces conducted a series of coordinated operations north of Muqdadiyah targeting alleged associates of the network operating in the northeast Diyala River Valley region. One of the targeted individuals is believed to be involved in terrorist media and propaganda operations and a direct associate of senior leadership in the network.
-- Coalition forces captured a suspected special groups leader and detained seven other suspects during operations to disrupt criminal element networks southeast of Baghdad in the Kut and Suwyarah areas. The targeted individual reportedly was a senior-level special groups criminal element leader dedicated to attacking coalition forces. He allegedly planned explosively formed penetrator attacks on coalition forces throughout the Wasit province. The man was reportedly appointed as a special groups criminal element leader of a punishment committee and possibly was involved in death squads. He also was reported to be an associate of several other senior-level criminal element leaders who were involved in attacks on coalition forces.
-- Concerned local citizens found an IED formed from rigged land mines and ammunition near Patrol Base Murray in Arab Jabour. A 155 mm artillery round, an 82 mm mortar and two land mines were found rigged with detonation cord near the base. The citizens turned over the IED, along with other weapons cache items found at the same site, to soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
In operations Dec. 22:
-- During an operation in Baghdad, coalition forces captured a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq associate allegedly involved in facilitating finances for the terrorist network in Arab Jabour. Reports indicate the wanted individual is associated with senior terrorists in the network responsible for numerous attacks against coalition forces.
-- Also in the capital city, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be involved in al Qaeda in Iraq media and propaganda operations. The wanted individual is allegedly a close associate of three suspects, also involved in al Qaeda media operations, who were detained by coalition forces during operations last week.
-- In Mosul, four suspected terrorists were detained during an operation targeting an associate of the al Qaeda in Iraq network operating in the city.
(From Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)