Steel Curtain Troops Move Into Ubaydi
American Forces Press Service
CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq, Nov. 14, 2005 Iraqi army soldiers and U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 2 began a new phase of Operation Steel Curtain today by entering the town of Ubaydi.
Ubaydi, located on the banks of the Euphrates River, is only 20 km from the Syrian border, and was the site of Operation Matador in May.
Insurgent fighters have been battling with Iraqi and coalition forces since the operation began at dawn. Coalition air strikes hit five targets while insurgents were engaging coalition forces with small-arms fire.
Preliminary reports indicate an estimated 25 insurgents have already been captured, U.S. military officials said. Several improvised explosive devices and mines have also been discovered.
The towns of Husaybah and Karabilah were cleared earlier in Operation Steel Curtain, and a stabilizing Iraqi-U.S. military presence established in these towns.
The goals of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore Iraqi sovereign control along the Iraq-Syria border and destroy al Qaeda terrorists operating throughout the Qaim region. This offensive is part of the larger Operation Hunter, designed to prevent al Qaeda from operating in the Euphrates River Valley and throughout Anbar province and to establish a permanent Iraqi army presence in the Qaim region, officials said.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security forces and multinational forces from Task Force Freedom detained 76 suspected terrorists and seized a number of weapons during operations in northern Iraq Nov. 9 through today.
In highlights from these operations:
- U.S. soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained 12 individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized weapons during separate operations in Tal Afar Nov. 9 through today.
- Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, detained 15 individuals suspected of terrorist activity during a cordon-and-search operation in Tal Afar Nov. 13.
- U.S. soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, detained eight individuals suspected of terrorist activity during separate operations in Tal Afar Nov. 12-13.
- U.S. soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, detained three individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized mortar rounds and fuel during operations in Mosul Nov. 9-13.
- Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained nine individuals suspected of terrorist activity during operations near the Syrian border Nov. 10-12.
- Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, alongside U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, seized weapons during a search operation in western Mosul Nov. 11.
- U.S. soldiers from 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, seized a weapons cache during a search operation in Qayyarah Nov. 11.
- Iraqi police, along with U.S. soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained 24 individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized AK-47 assault rifles during separate operations in Tal Afar Nov. 10-11.
- U.S. soldiers from 65th Military Police Company seized weapons from a vehicle in northern Mosul Nov. 10.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)