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Regime Sabotage Attempts Continue Near Fallujah

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2003 – Operation Desert Scorpion continues, with U.S. troops conducting nine raids throughout Iraq. U.S. 1st Armored Division soldiers conducted five raids in the greater Baghdad area June 20 and detained five Iraqis, according to a U.S. Central Command release.

The troops also seized a number of small arms and confiscated ammunition. An Iraqi man turned in a box of hand grenades to the unit.

The humanitarian portion of Operation Desert Scorpion also continues. Troops from the 3rd Infantry Division helped repair water works, electrical infrastructure and helped assess the condition of local schools. Troopers with the 101st Airborne Division distributed food, and cavalrymen from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment escorted humanitarian convoys from Jordan.

Civilian media reported that Iraqis loyal to Saddam Hussein fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a transformer in a power plant near Fallujah, injuring two American soldiers and knocking out power to half the city. U.S. Central Command was unable to confirm the incident.

DoD officials have called Fallujah, about 35 miles west on Baghdad, a hotbed of sentiment for the former regime. Officials said it is part of the "Sunni Crescent" that has a majority Sunni Muslim population. Hussein is a Sunni and many leaders in the former regime came from the area.

DoD officials said that supporters of the former regime are attacking infrastructure targets. The idea is to negate any progress coalition forces are making to improve power, water and sewage systems, so that average Iraqis want Saddam back. "And that's just not going to happen," the official said.

In Afghanistan, medical and civil affairs personnel treated 133 Afghans during a visit to the village of Nageel Abad near Kandahar June 19. The teams also distributed 100 pounds of personal hygiene kits, according to a Combined Joint Task Force 180 release.

No casualties or damage to equipment occurred when seven rockets impacted in the vicinity of the firebase at Orgun-E June 19, according to the release.

Afghan military forces turned over 74 100 mm rocket rounds and 54 107 mm rocket fuses to coalition forces in Adadabad June 18. They were recovered during an Afghan forces' sweep of the Shahkahul area, east of Asadabad.

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