U.S. Destroys Another Terrorist Safe House in Fallujah
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2004 U.S. planes today obliterated a building in southeastern Fallujah that was known to be a gathering place for terrorists in Iraq.
The air strike "employed precision weapons to target and destroy the safe house," according to a statement issued today by Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director for coalition operations, Multinational Force Iraq.
The attack is the third in recent days to target buildings in Fallujah frequented by operatives working for fugitive Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al- Zarqawi.
Zarqawi's network, which has ties with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the June 24 wave of attacks across Iraq that hit coalition and Iraqi security forces and facilities. The attacks killed about 100 people, including three U.S. troops, and injured more than 300, including 12 Americans.
In those attacks, insurgents struck targets in Mosul, Baqubah, Ramadi, Fallujah and Baghdad. Kimmitt declared in his statement that coalition troops would work with Iraqi security forces "to defeat and destroy terrorist networks within Iraq."
And, "wherever and whenever we find elements of the Zarqawi network, we will attack them," Kimmitt pledged.
Today's air strike, the general noted in his statement, was "based on multiple confirmations of Iraqi and coalition intelligence."
U.S. and coalition authorities predicted insurgent violence would likely escalate before and after the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to an interim Iraq government.
In other news, Iraqi police early today detained three people suspected of attacking the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headquarters near Tuz, according to a Coalition Press Information Center news release. Four people were seen inside the vehicle used in the attack, but one escaped capture. Iraqi police are investigating.
In Ramadi, Iraqi troops fought off insurgents during the June 24 attacks, according to another CPIC release. After insurgents blew up a Ramadi police station, Iraqi security forces arrived and successfully repelled additional assaults. U.S. Marines were quickly deployed to back up Iraqi troops engaged at several city locations.
Iraqi security forces' actions "have restored calm in Ramadi," according to the release. About five Iraqi security troops were killed and eight were wounded in the Ramadi action, the release said. No Marine casualties were reported.