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Soldiers Killed During Operation River Gate; Iron Fist Ends

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2005 – Two soldiers assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died of wounds suffered from small-arms fire while participating in Operation River Gate near Haqlaniyah, Iraq, Oct. 7, military officials reported.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, recovered contraband from a suspected insurgent safe house in western Rashid, Iraq, Oct. 7. The cache included an electronic timer and initiation device, rolls of wire, a pair of binoculars, an AK-47, two 9 mm pistols and 10 cell phones. Army photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Several Army units are serving with the 2nd MEF in Iraq. The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Elsewhere, about 1,000 Marines, soldiers and sailors assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2 concluded Operation Iron Fist in the Qaim region of western Anbar province late Oct. 6.

The goal of the six-day operation was to root out al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and to disrupt insurgent support systems in and around the city of Sadah, 12 miles east of the Syrian border on the southern bank of the Euphrates River, officials said.

Coalition forces have established new outposts in Sadah to maintain a presence in the area. These positions will sustain ongoing operations to defeat the flow of al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists from Syria along the Euphrates River valley.

The operation resulted in more than 50 al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists killed, officials reported.

The offensive was part of the larger Operation Hunter, aimed at denying al Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate in the Euphrates River valley and preventing terrorists from continuing their campaign of murder and intimidation against the local population, officials said.

In other Iraq news, Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained four terror suspects during a series of raids in southern Baghdad Oct. 7.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, captured two suspected terrorists and recovered contraband during a raid of a terrorist safe house in western Rashid.

Items found included an electronic timer and initiation device, rolls of wire, a pair of binoculars, an AK-47 assault rifle, two 9 mm pistols and 10 cell phones.

Earlier that evening, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, captured two suspected terrorists in Dora. The men were suspected of assassinating Iraqis in the area, officials said.

In Fallujah, Iraqi army troops detained a man Oct. 7 under the suspicion of emplacing improvised explosive devices.

Troops from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, apprehended the man during a mounted security patrol south of Fallujah. According to reports, the individual was known locally for his IED activities.

The suspect is being held pending further investigation.

In other developments, Task Force Baghdad soldiers struck back at terrorist forces after a series of small-arms and roadside bomb attacks Oct. 7 southwest of Baghdad.

Ground forces from 48th Brigade Combat Team and helicopters from Task Force Baghdad successfully repelled the attacks with no injuries to U.S. soldiers or damage to coalition equipment or facilities.

After soldiers took small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire, four IEDs detonated near them. The soldiers established security at the site, searched several houses in the area and detained a terror suspect.

About an hour later, soldiers in the area found an IED consisting of a 155 mm round with detonation cord. The patrol secured the area and called in an explosive ordnance disposal team to destroy the bomb.

The same patrol later found a cache of rocket-propelled grenades, which the EOD team also destroyed.

"We've expected these attacks based on the terrorists' history of coordinated attacks," said Army Lt. Col. Mark London, 48th BCT operations officer. "We were prepared for previous attacks, and we're prepared for these."

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 6 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close-air support to coalition troops near Sadiyah and Samarra.

Twelve U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Task Force Baghdad, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq
U.S. Central Command Air Forces


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