Operation River Gate
October 1, 2005 - ?
Operation River Gate was initiated on Oct. 4, 2005 as the 2nd Marine Division moved into the cities of Haditha, Haglaniyah, and Barwana. With approximately 2,500 Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors from Regimental Combat Team-2 as well as a detachment of some 350 Iraqi Security Force soldiers participating. River Gate became the largest operation in the al Anbar province so far that year.
Like other operations conducted in the region such as Operation Hunter and Operation Iron Fist, the goal of Operation River Gate is to control the Euphrates River Valley and eliminate the insurgent activity occurring there. The city of Haditha served as a critical junction through which foreign fighters or supplies could enter from Syria and travel to Mosul, Fallujah and Baghdad.
Iraqi soldiers were sent to provide security for the Haditha General Hospital's patients and personal. The hospital is the largest medical facility in Western Al Anbar and was targeted for attack by a suicide bomber in the spring of 2004.
On Oct. 4, 2005 air strikes were employed to disable the Dulab, Haditha, and Barwana bridges that cross the Euphrates to deny insurgents an exit from the targeted cities.
Coalition troops killed six insurgents during the fighting on Oct. 4 and detained approximately 110 suspected terrorists. On Oct. 5 a roadside bomb was used to attack Iraqi Security Forces and Marines in Haditha. The blast site had wiring leading to Qaryat al Khadfah mosque, which contained the initiating device as well as other artillery rounds wired for use as roadside bombs. Combined Iraqi and U.S. forces also discovered two prominent weapons caches on the 5th in Haditha and Haglaniyah consisting of more than 40 mortar and artillery rounds, two complete mortar systems, small arms, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
A roadside bomb discovered and detonated resulted in the disruption of electrical service in Haglaniyah and Bani Dahir.
On Oct 7 two soldiers from the Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force died of wounds sustained from small-arms fire near Haglanivah.
Also on Oct 7 Coalition forces discovered a propaganda factory as well as a bomb-making factory in Haditha, which contained numerous pre-wired bombs, several mortar rounds, blasting caps, propellant, and detonation cord.
On Oct. 9 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers thwarted a suicide car-bombing targeting a vehicle checkpoint northeast of Haditha. The driver of a white sedan refused to slow down when approaching the check point despite hand gestures and the firing of warning shots from the U.S. soldiers. Soldiers then opened fire on the vehicle, causing it to detonate and killing the driver.
As Operation River Gate continued, two more weapons caches containing bomb-making material, small arms, rocket propelled grenades and other forms of ammunition were discovered in Haditha on Oct 10. As of the 14th, approximately 160 suspected insurgents had been detained, 119 IEDs and mines had been disarmed, and 14 weapons caches had been uncovered.