1st Cavalry Division Teams with Marines South of Baghdad
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 1, 2005 Soldiers and Marines of Task Force Baghdad began offensive combat and civil-military operations in southern Baghdad and northern Babil province this week, aimed at rooting out insurgents.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, launched Operation Triple Play, detaining nine insurgents and killing another as he was emplacing an improvised explosive device.
The operation, involving units from the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iraqi security forces, is building on the momentum of successful operations in Fallujah, officials said. The operation focuses on eliminating the use of the area by insurgent forces.
"This area is one of the last places near Baghdad that the insurgent feels he can operate from," said Army Lt. Col. James Hutton, chief spokesman for 1st Cavalry Division and Task Force Baghdad. "He must know that we watch him from the sky, listen to him communicate, track him on the ground, and exercise combat power upon him. The insurgent can't sleep soundly, can't move about freely, and can't congregate without the knowledge that he may be killed or captured at any moment."
Officials said the operations will incorporate intelligence-based, targeted combat operations as well as extensive use of civil-military operations.
"Our operations will further deny the insurgents ability to mass, establish logistics bases, and execute complex operations," said Army Lt. Col. Matt Kaufman, executive officer, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. "By all accounts, the residents here are happy to see us. The people here are tired of the insurgents and their threats. They want the insurgents out. They want peace."
The north Babil region is an area that has been used by insurgents as a haven. Officials said this operation will help ensure that no safe harbor exists anywhere in the area for the insurgents to gather, establish logistics, and use as a platform for terrorist operations. Key to the mission is the inclusion of civil-military public-works projects.
"We want to create a stable and secure environment as the Iraqi people approach the national elections," said Hutton. "Simultaneous with combat operations, we will begin much-needed work on essential services. The insurgents have deprived the area from prospering through intimidation. The insurgents will be stopped."
(Courtesy of Multinational Force Iraq.)