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Operation Harris Ba’sil Knocks Enemy Off Balance

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2007 – Operation Harris Ba’sil has wrapped up after helping knock enemy forces in Iraq’s western Anbar province off balance, officials involved in the operation reported today.

Regimental Combat Team 2 and elements of the Iraqi army’s 7th Division completed the operation after eight weeks of interdicting and disrupting enemy routes and safe havens outside major cities along the Euphrates River valley, the team’s operations officer said.

The operation, dubbed “Valiant Guardian,” involved nearly 4,000 Marines, soldiers and sailors covering most of the 30,000 square miles of RCT 2's operating area.

“We uncovered over 250 caches, arrested over 250 suspected insurgents and discovered over 100 improvised explosive devices,” said Lt. Col. Michael Manning, RCT 2's operations officer. “We clearly surprised them. The number of caches and detainees attest to that, but more importantly, we let the enemy know that they can’t hide from us.”

The effort marked the first large scale operation for RCT 2 this year, supporting Multinational Force Iraq’s Operation Farhd al Qanoon and using the surge battalions sent to Anbar province. RCT 2’s operating area stretches from the Syrian border city of Qa’im to Hit, northwest of Ramadi.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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