Coalition Troops in Iraq Capture 10 Suspects, Find Cache
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2008 Coalition forces in Iraq today captured 10 suspected terrorists and found a weapons cache during several anti-insurgent operations conducted across the country, military officials said.
-- In Tarmiyah, coalition forces captured an alleged associate of the al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader for the network north of Baghdad. Reports indicate the detainee and his son were subordinates to the terrorist senior leader. The suspect allegedly left his position within the network, but remained actively engaged in attacks against coalition forces. Three other suspected terrorists also were detained. The operation also yielded an enemy weapons cache that contained military-style assault vests, ammunition, and propane tanks.
-- North of Beiji, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists, including an alleged weapons specialist and associate of the senior leader of the al Qaeda in Iraq network in the city. Reports indicate the wanted individual is linked to al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups operating in Baghdad.
-- In eastern Mosul, four suspects were detained during an operation targeting the leader of a local suicide bombing cell responsible for facilitating foreign fighters and conducting attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces.
In operations yesterday:
-- East of Samarra, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists while targeting associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq leader for the network operating in the area. Reports led coalition forces to an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq meeting location and the suspects were detained without incident. Further east toward the Hamrin Mountains, coalition forces detained another three suspects while targeting an associate of the al Qaeda in Iraq network operating in the Diyala River Valley region.
-- South of Kirkuk, coalition forces rescued a Kurdish boy held hostage by an alleged al Qaeda financier who is linked to a local kidnapping cell. The boy was kidnapped Feb. 1 and held for ransom. Coalition forces rescued the hostage and detained three suspected terrorists who were turned over to the Iraqi government.
-- Northeast of Khalis, coalition forces targeted al Qaeda in Iraq networks operating in the Diyala River Valley. Reports led coalition forces to an area believed to be an al Qaeda meeting place and possible rest site for a senior leader of the network. During the operation, coalition forces were engaged by enemy fire coming from inside one of the targeted buildings. Coalition troops returned fire, killing three terrorists. As coalition forces approached another building they were again engaged by enemy fire, and one of the terrorists inside detonated his suicide vest, killing himself. During the engagement, one of the terrorists moving outside was killed by enemy personnel firing from inside one of the buildings. The coalition ground force called in air support to engage the enemy inside the building, and another four terrorists were killed. As coalition forces continued to clear the area, they encountered enemy personnel inside another building, including a man wearing a suicide vest. Coalition forces killed two terrorists in that action. At another location, coalition ground forces again received enemy fire and engaged, killing three terrorists. As coalition forces began to depart the area, they observed another terrorist moving toward their position. Air-to-ground fire killed the terrorist. During the series of engagements, coalition forces also detained eight suspected terrorists and destroyed five buildings to prevent their use for terrorist activity.
-- The Hillah Iraqi special weapons and tactics unit, accompanied by U.S. Special Forces advisors, killed seven terrorists, wounded one, and detained 28 suspects during an air-assault operation against al Qaeda networks near Salman Pak. The operation targeted an al Qaeda commander who led operations in Suwayrah, south of Baghdad. According to intelligence, the suspect had conducted financial transactions for the terrorist group and recruited foreign fighters, including women, to assault Iraqi citizens and Iraqi and coalition forces with roadside bombs and small-arms attacks. An al Qaeda cell that builds vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices also was targeted. That cell is linked to six attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces, as well as the murder of four Iraqi citizens. During the operation, Iraqi and U.S. forces landed at multiple helicopter landing zones and moved to several objectives, entering multiple residences. As two enemy fighters were observed near one of the landing zones, they were engaged by a coalition aerial weapons team and killed. Iraqi and U.S. ground forces received small-arms fire during entry into one structure. One U.S. Special Forces soldier disarmed an enemy fighter and rendered first aid to him for a hand wound. Five other enemy fighters were killed as they made an attempt to flank U.S. and Iraqi troops. U.S. and Iraqi forces detained eight more suspected insurgents positioned inside another structure. A wounded Iraqi civilian with a minor leg wound was treated on site. Another wounded Iraqi civilian died at the scene. During a search of the building, Iraqi and U.S. ground forces found hand grenades and a suicide-vest IED. Another 28 suspects were detained for questioning.
In Feb. 2 operations:
-- U.S. soldiers found and destroyed a sizable weapons cache in southern Arab Jabour. The cache contained 35 23 mm anti-aircraft munitions, six rocket-propelled grenade boosters, a pressure-plate initiator, a bag of RPG propellants and boosters, small-arms ammunition, a camera charger and various IED-making materials. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the cache’s contents.
-- U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters supporting the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team swooped down on a group of men planting a suspected roadside bomb in Baghdad’s Sadr-City section, causing the suspects to flee. Extremists have been responsible for a spike in the number of roadside bombs placed over the past month, especially explosively-formed penetrators. There were 12 EFP attacks against coalition forces in January - the highest monthly total in more than a year. Through a five-day span, U.S. and Iraqi forces have found and disabled two IEDs, including an EFP.
-- Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained two suspected terrorists in separate operations. In Balad, Iraqi and U.S. Special Operations troops detained a member of a terrorist cell who is believed to be responsible for mortar and IED attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. He also is linked to the hijacking of contractors who work on Logistical Support Area Anaconda. The detainee also is believed to have provided safe houses for local terrorists. In the city of Hit, an Iraqi special weapons and tactics team, advised by U.S. forces, detained an insurgent leader believed to be behind several attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. According to intelligence reports, the suspect has been involved in multiple IED attacks and car bombings.
In Feb. 1 operations:
-- U.S. soldiers captured a suspected IED emplacer during a raid in Baghdad’s Shaab neighborhood. The detainee reportedly was a lieutenant in one of the insurgent groups operating in the area.
-- U.S. military engineers were engaged by enemy small-arms fire on multiple occasions while conducting a roadside-clearance mission in the same Shaab neighborhood. The engineers were unable to positively identify the shooter, so to prevent injury to civilians or damage to property, they didn’t fire back.
-- Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, uncovered a large weapons cache near Diwaniyah after receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen. The cache included four 100-pound bombs, five 82 mm mortars, four 107 mm rockets, an 81 mm mortar, 17 mortar fuses, a rocket-propelled grenade with three boosters, a missile and four machine guns.
In Jan. 31 operations:
-- Iraqi and U.S. security forces detained two extremist leaders during separate operations in Baghdad. In the first operation, Iraqi and U.S. forces detained the suspected leader of an extremist group responsible for improvised explosive device and explosively-formed projectile attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. The suspect also is linked to supplying IEDs and EFPs to extremists throughout Baghdad. In the second operation, Iraqi and U.S. forces detained the suspected leader of an extremist cell responsible for the murder of Iraqi citizens. Intelligence reports indicate the suspect is believed to be involved in IED attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. He also is thought to be supplying roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades to extremist groups.
-- An Iraqi emergency response unit, advised by U.S. troops, detained eight suspected criminals during a Baghdad raid. The suspects are security workers for a local mobile communications company. They were detained on Iraqi warrants for suspicion of engaging in criminal activity in Baghdad’s Monsour area. Two machine guns, an assault rifle and an armored sedan were confiscated during the raid.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)