Officials Note River Gate Successes as Iraqi Election Nears
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2005 With Iraq's constitutional referendum set to take place Oct. 15, military officials noted the successes of Operation River Gate in setting conditions for secure voting in the country's Anbar province.
Since the operation began Oct. 4, 119 improvised explosive devices and mines have been identified and disarmed, two vehicle car bombs have been found, and 14 weapons caches were discovered, officials said. Also, about 160 men suspected of insurgent activity are being detained.
Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force's Regimental Combat Team 2 have been operating in the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana. Coalition and Iraqi security forces are focusing on security operations, building forward operating bases and establishing a persistent presence in the area, officials said.
In other news from Iraq, a tip from local citizens led to Task Force Baghdad soldiers finding and disabling a car bomb Oct. 12 in western Rashid. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, were on patrol in the neighborhood of Risalah when they were flagged down by a group of Iraqis who reported a suspicious vehicle nearby.
An explosive ordnance disposal team was dispatched to the site and safely detonated the car bomb before terrorists could use it. Upon investigation, soldiers found the car bomb was made from seven 122 mm artillery rounds, four 130 mm artillery rounds and a propane tank filled with homemade explosives.
Also on Oct. 12, Task Force Baghdad soldiers, acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, found a mortar tube and mortar rounds in northern Baghdad. Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, went to investigate and found a small walled-in compound. As the soldiers entered the compound, a terrorist approached the patrol with an AK-47 assault rifle. When the soldiers shouted for him to drop his weapon, the terrorist raised the rifle and pointed it at the soldiers. The patrol fired and killed the terrorist. A search of the site revealed the mortar tube and 38 mortar rounds.
On Oct. 10, Task Force Baghdad soldiers caught two roadside bombers in the act of placing an improvised explosive device in northern Baghdad. The patrol, from 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, immediately sealed off the area and captured both terrorists before they could trigger the bomb. The two terrorists were taken into custody for questioning, and an explosive ordnance disposal team safely destroyed the bomb.
In other news, multinational forces from Task Force Freedom detained 58 suspected terrorists and seized munitions during operations in northern Iraq Oct.10-13.
Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, detained six people suspected of terrorist activity and seized multiple weapons during separate operations in eastern Mosul Oct. 10 and 12.
On Oct. 11, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, detained 31 terrorism suspects and seized munitions during several operations in Mosul.
Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment; 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment; and 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained 20 people during separate cordon-and-search operations in Tal Afar Oct. 10 through 13.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)