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Operation Desert Scorpion Continues Throughout Iraq

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2003 – Operation Desert Scorpion continues throughout Iraq, said Army 5th Corps officials.

Officials said Combined Joint Task Force 7 commanders are using all available assets in the hunt for former Saddam Hussein regime officials and forces. This includes air power and special operations forces as needed, said 5th Corps officials.

Army forces from the 3rd Infantry Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment have conducted raids throughout the country. "These raids are forcible entry to buildings or compounds where suspected regime figures are," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Thomas, a 5th Corps spokesman.

These targets are not arbitrary. "These are highly coordinated, intelligence- driven operations," Thomas said. "These are places where we've been shot at, ambushed from and we have tracked the actions to these people."

These raids have yielded a number of results. 101st Airborne soldiers conducted three raids and detained 12 individuals. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted 11 raids and detained 39 individuals. Soldiers of the 1st Armored Division conducted seven raids and detained 53 individuals.

The 4th Infantry Division conducted 43 raids and initially detained 288 individuals. Sixty-five of the detained are being held. The 3rd Infantry Division conducted five raids and detained 20. The 3rd also seized 20 anti-tank rounds, three AK-47s, one rocket-propelled grenade and some C4 explosives along with detonators.

Desert Scorpion began June 15. Humanitarian missions are a component of the operation. In the north, units helped to facilitate payment of civilian workers and to establish a police academy. In Baghdad, units helped repair roads and pipelines. In the central region, units continue to escort fuel convoys throughout the area of operation.

5th Corps officials hasten to point out that the units are not ignoring their other regular missions, such as routine patrolling and rebuilding efforts.

In other action, U.S. Central Command reported that a sniper killed a 1st Armored Division soldier in Baghdad. The soldier was part of a patrol in the northwest section of Baghdad.

The soldier was struck in the back by a small-caliber bullet. Name and unit of the soldier are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

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