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Soldiers Capture More Suspects, Continue Offensive Operations

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2003 – U.S. soldiers and Iraqi security forces continue to capture or kill coalition enemies, seize their weapons and destroy their hiding places as Operations Iron Hammer and Ivy Cyclone II roll on in Iraq, a senior coalition officer said in a Baghdad news conference today.

Brig. Gen. Mark T. Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq, told reporters that 101 anti-coalition suspects had been captured in the previous 24 hours, as coalition forces conducted 1,588 patrols and 19 raids.

Task force news releases provided details today on several operations:

Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment were the targets of small-arms fire today while investigating a site where a Bradley fighting vehicle struck a mine Nov. 18. The soldiers returned fire, killing two enemy attackers. A third insurgent ran from their vehicle and later was detained.

In a separate incident overnight, three Iraqis were killed and two were wounded at traffic checkpoints in Ramadi. The checkpoints had been established and the road cordoned because an explosive ordnance disposal team was investigating a possible roadside bomb.

At one checkpoint east of Ramadi, a vehicle approached at high speed and failed to slow or stop, ignoring flashlight signals and warning shots. Soldiers killed the driver and wounded his passenger. The vehicle crashed into a humvee, injuring three soldiers, who returned to duty after treatment by unit medics.

Another vehicle tried to run a traffic checkpoint about 200 yards away from the one where the first incident took place, the driver also ignoring signals and warning shots. Soldiers killed two people in the vehicle and wounded another.

The 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse conducted 42 Ivy Cyclone II attacks overnight, using 155 mm artillery, 120 mm mortars, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and direct fire from Bradley fighting vehicles and M-1A1 Abrams tanks. Soldiers destroyed 12 anti-coalition safe houses and buildings, and suppressed 14 mortar-firing locations and four ambush sites. In six separate coordinated raids, division soldiers captured 36 people suspected of anti- coalition activities.

Apaches attacked their targets with 30 mm cannons, and Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped two 500-pound bombs. An artillery battery from 1st Battalion, 66th Armor fired 155 mm artillery rounds at targets in the same area.

In the Tikrit area, coalition forces used artillery, mortars and attack helicopters to target places former regime loyalists and insurgents had used to attack 4th Infantry Division positions.

In a 24-hour period from Nov. 18 to today, 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse conducted 191 patrols and six raids, capturing 36 people and seizing various weapons and munitions. The Iraqi police, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Iraqi Border Guard took part in 28 of the patrols. The soldiers seized 17 AK-47 assault rifles, one machine gun, three rifles, one RPK machine gun, 300 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition, 40 rounds of 130 mm mortars, six 60 mm mortars, one 155 mm artillery round, three blocks of C-4 plastic explosives, 6,300 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and seven improvised explosive devices.

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division's Task Force All American went on 160 patrols, nine of which were joint patrols with members of the Iraqi Border Guard and Iraqi police, and conducted five cordon-and-search operations that resulted in six enemy killed, three wounded, and 15 captured. Soldiers also engaged two men looting a munitions factory near Iskandariyah, killing one and wounding the other.

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