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Release A05072b

Operation Sword (Saif) update

Multi-National Force-Iraq

CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq – Iraq Security Forces and approximately 1,000 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers from Regimental Combat Team-2 , comprised of elements of 2nd Marine Regiment and the Army's 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Marine Division , continue conducting security operations along the Euphrates River between the cities of Haditha and Hit.

Operation Sword (Saif) began early June 28 and is currently focusing on clearing terrorists and foreign fighters from the city of Hit .

Resistance is still being reported by commanders in the city as ‘light.'

There have been no reported fatalities among Iraqi or American forces.

The majority of the units are conducting cordon and knock operations in and around Hit [population 120,000] approximately 100 miles northwest of Baghdad .

During the operations Marines search buildings and local businesses. If a business is locked up and closed then Marines will typically cut the lock to gain entry for their search. Instructions for the owners on receiving payment for damages caused by either Marines or Iraqi Forces are left at the building. Approximately $3,500 for minor property damage claims has been paid out to the residents of Hit during the course of the operation. Sixteen Marines from 2nd Marine Division have been tasked to help process any claim for property damage.

“The 2nd Marine Division always tries to mitigate damages caused during our operations,” said Capt. Richard D. Belliss, operational law attorney, 2nd Marine Division. “Some damage is inevitable; therefore we have systems in place to address the needs and concerns of local citizens affected by military operations.”

Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion-2, 2nd Force Service Support Group (Forward) discovered 15 roadside bombs located one kilometer north of Hit. Thirteen of the bombs were found within 800 meters of each other on both sides of the road. The terrorists had attempted to attach several of the bombs together in order to make a larger explosion and increase the blast radius of the bombs. The Marines followed a wire from the bombs to a nearby school house, where all the explosives were connected.

Twenty-three suspected of terrorist activity are being detained for questioning, most in connection to weapons caches.

Operations to rid the city of terrorists and foreign fighters who intimidate the populace continue.

More information on the operation will be released as it becomes available.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, Public Affairs Officer, PoolJS@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil .

 



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