Ramadi Operation Launched to Disrupt Terror Group
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2005 About 200 Iraqi soldiers from 1st Brigade, 7th Division, and 300 U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, launched Operation Shank today in Ramadi, Iraq.
Shank is the fifth in a series of operations by the Iraqi army and coalition forces conducting combined clearing operations to disrupt the insurgency and set the conditions for a successful Dec. 15 election in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi.
The operation's purpose is to disrupt a terrorist group that uses an area of Ramadi as its base for attacks on Iraqi and U.S. military forces, as well as local citizens.
Since Nov. 16, Iraqi and U.S. forces' actions have resulted in numerous terrorists killed or detained. Among them were Imad Salih Al-Fahdawi, a known terrorist involved in attacks against government officials and imams, and Khamis Manfi Hammud Al Klaibawi, a truck driver responsible for placing roadside bombs on the streets of Ramadi.
Also, previous operations - Panthers, Bruins, Lions and Tigers - were successful in discovering numerous weapons caches. These finds contained surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, mortar and artillery rounds, hand grenades, landmines, small arms and ammunition, and bomb-making equipment.
Another operation, Iron Hammer, is progressing with the clearing of the Hai al Becker region on the eastern side of the Euphrates River across from Hit, Iraq.
The Hai al Becker region is suspected of being an al Qaeda safe area and base of operations for the making of vehicle car bombs and roadside bombs.
About 500 Iraqi soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, 1,500 Marines and sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and 500 soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment, are participating in Iron Hammer.
On Dec. 1, U.S. and Iraqi forces used specialized explosive charges to clear paths through routes suspected of being seeded with roadside bombs. Hidden mines or bombs caused secondary explosions. One antipersonnel mine also was discovered during the clearing.
The Iraqi commander from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and a local sheik explained the purpose of the operation to local citizens and addressed their concerns.
In other news, Baghdad citizens' tips led soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, to detain five suspected terrorists Nov. 30.
After receiving a tip from Iraqi civilians, soldiers of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, conducted a hasty search of a house south of Baghdad. Three individuals were found with bomb-making materials and anti-coalition propaganda. The soldiers detained those suspects for further questioning.
Another tip led troops from B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, to a house where terrorists were planning future attacks on coalition forces. A hasty cordon and search yielded anti-coalition propaganda, fake identification cards and an AK-47 assault rifle. Two suspects also were detained.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team also discovered homemade bombs, three of which were discovered by C Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, along one road in south Baghdad.
In a mud hut along the side of a road, the unit's soldiers found a bomb consisting of a pipe, explosives and concrete.
After calling for an explosive ordnance team, the patrol discovered two more consisting of pipes packed with explosives and concrete along the same road.
The explosives team detonated the three devices and the mud hut.
On Nov. 29, Task Force Baghdad soldiers found three homemade bombs hidden in an Abu Ghraib house and detained one suspected terrorist.
Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment were conducting a routine patrol in the area when they came across three individuals who were acting suspiciously outside of the house. Upon investigation, the soldiers discovered a cache of weapons. One suspect was detained for further questioning.
The cache included three bombs, one made from an 81 mm round and two made from 60 mm rounds, 12 mortar rounds, one stick of nitroglycerine, timers and blasting caps, a two-way radio, black ski masks, one rocket-propelled grenade, a mortar tube, and 12 shotgun shells filled with nitroglycerin.
In the Rashid district from Nov. 27-28, Iraqi security forces and Task Force Baghdad soldiers kept the pressure on terrorists in an effort to set the conditions for the Dec. 15 elections and deny the enemy the opportunity to carry out attacks.
Early in the evening of Nov. 27, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, responded to a coordinated attack involving a roadside bomb and small-arms fire in eastern Rashid. The blast from the device caused minimal damage to the patrol.
The soldiers immediately conducted a counterattack and found an initiation wire leading to a nearby house. They detained two suspected terrorists found in the house.
Later that evening, Iraqi forces from the 4th Public Order Brigade took small-arms fire in Dora. The attackers fled and ran into a mosque, into which the Iraqi forces got permission to follow them.
There, Iraqi forces found a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, a rocket-propelled-grenade round and 190 rounds of machine-gun ammunition.
On Nov. 28, elements from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, detained three suspected terrorists in western Rashid.
In the Iraq air war component, coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air support missions Dec. 1.
An Air Force Predator fired Hellfire missiles near Karabilah, destroying a car bomb.
Navy F/A-18 fighter jets performed an air strike near Balad, expending precision-guided munitions against an enemy mortar position.
In addition, 14 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)