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Iraqi, U.S. Forces Gain Ground Against Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2005 – American, coalition and Iraqi security troops and police landed a series of blows against international terrorists in Iraq in recent days, the military officials in Iraq reported today.

Near Kirkuk on March 29 U.S. soldiers detained an individual for throwing a grenade at a combat patrol. The patrol was securing the site of an improvised explosive device detonation when the suspect drove by and tossed a grenade at the soldiers, who returned fire and destroyed the vehicle.

No injuries to U.S. soldiers or equipment damage occurred.

Also March 29, U.S. soldiers engaged the vehicle of a known terrorist, killing one terrorist and injuring another during action in Tal Afar. The troops of the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), also seized a number of weapons found in the vehicle, to include a machine gun, two AK-47s, two hand grenades and six rocket-propelled grenade rounds.

The injured terrorist was taken to a hospital and will be detained after being treated. No injuries to coalition forces were reported during the operation.

Also, American soldiers seized a weapons cache in Tikrit March 29. The cache consisted of two 107 mm rockets, two 120 mm and two 152 mm artillery rounds, two homemade launch tubes, and preset timers. Some items were kept for study by coalition forces, and some were identified for future destruction.

On March 28, Iraqi security forces found a large terrorist base in Salman Pak, south of Baghdad. The Iraqi forces stormed the base, overcame light resistance and disabled several improvised explosive devices. Several weapons, munitions and two IEDs were found on the scene. More than 90 suspected terrorists were captured and are being questioned.

"This operation was the first major joint operation between the (Iraqi Special Operations Forces) Brigade, Iraqi police forces and conventional coalition forces," said Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, assistant commander to Task Force Baghdad. "This operation represents the significant progress that Iraqi Security Forces are making to make all of Iraq a safer place for it's citizens."

And U.S. soldiers discovered eight weapons caches near a U.S. military supply route south of Baghdad March 27. The soldiers used metal detectors to find the hidden weapons, which included 58 assorted artillery and mortar rounds, 11 rocket-propelled grenade heat rounds and three RPG launchers.

The Americans also uncovered six RPG anti-personnel rounds, 1,000 6.3 mm primers, a machine gun, an AK-47 rifle, and more than 400 rounds of ammunition. Other munitions found include 100 time fuses, 39 booster charges of various sizes, 10 blasting caps, five mortar fuses, two armored vests, detonation cord and a wide assortment of electronic equipment.

Also March 27, Iraqi soldiers with the 1st Army Brigade, 6th Division, arrested an Iraqi police master sergeant accused of being the leader of a terror cell. The suspect is also believed to be responsible for the bombing of the Al-Baratha Mosque. The Iraq soldiers also found three RPGs and arrested an individual who fired one of them.

U.S. soldiers in central Baghdad found an IED in a shoebox March 27. A Navy explosive ordnance detachment was on the scene and safely detonated the device. Also, other American soldiers reported an IED on a military service route. The device was made from a 130 mm projectile. EOD arrived on the scene and conducted a controlled detonation.

"In IED attacks initiated against Multinational Division Baghdad, 70 percent have been ineffective at producing a casualty," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, Task Force Baghdad spokesperson. This, he said, "can be attributed to the technological advances in equipment, armor protection and the fact that we are capturing or killing experienced anti-Iraqi forces."

Iraqi police responded March 27 in south central Baghdad when U.S. soldiers came under small-arms fire. The Iraqi police pursued the suspect down the street. The Iraqis and Americans secured the area and searched for the suspect. The Iraqis later caught the suspect and took him in custody.

On March 26 Iraqi Army troops arrested a Pakistani father and two of his sons after receiving a tip. The men were found with cell phones, false passports, passport-making equipment and anti-coalition literature.

(Based on Multinational Force Iraq press releases.)

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