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Operation Sidewinder Raids Grab Saddam-Regime Supporters, Outlawed Weapons

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2003 – Security operations designed to corral Saddam-regime sycophants remaining in Iraq continue, according to a U.S. Central Command news release July 2.

Operation Sidewinder raids against suspected Hussein supporters, the release noted, have so far netted 20 high- value former Baath Party leaders and members, former Fedayeen paramilitary leaders and a former Iraqi military intelligence officer. The operation began June 29.

And five recent Sidewinder raids conducted by 4th Infantry Division soldiers have garnered a cornucopia of outlawed weaponry, including 28 hand grenades, three AK-47 automatic rifles, five mortar fuses, and a crate of rocket-propelled grenades, according to the release.

Another large cache of weapons including 200 rocket- propelled grenades -- was recently seized by 2nd Battle Combat Team troops in a city about 20 kilometers east of al Taji, the release continued. The team also found another weapons stash of 10 rocket-propelled grenades and 25 105mm rounds at a location about five miles away.

Also, the 101st Airborne Division has completed training 21 security force personnel and 13 university security guards, according to the release. The three-day class, the release noted, included training in military ethics, medical skills, crowd control and weapons skills.

U.S. and coalition forces continue aggressive patrolling - often jointly with Iraqi police -- over the past 24 hours, the release said, noting that 1,184 day patrols and 940 night patrols were conducted.

Iraqi police patrols have resulted in 120 arrests for various alleged crimes, to include one each for murder and kidnapping, three for car jacking, four for aggravated assault and 20 for looting.

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