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American Forces Press Service

Coordinated Efforts Net 39 Suspects in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2005 Iraqi and U.S. forces established a joint/combined operations center to develop intelligence and track operations during a series of missions July 15, military officials in Baghdad, Iraq, said.

This was the first time Iraqi and U.S. forces established such an operations center, Task Force Baghdad officials said. The staffs of each unit worked side by side in the JOC, resulting in the capture of 39 suspected terrorists in several operations.

"Coordination between our respective units has never been better," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Basilica Jr., commander of the 256th Brigade Combat Team. "The 1st Iraqi Brigade is well on its way to being a well-trained joint staff."

On the evening of July 15, elements of the 6th Iraqi Army Division and the 256th BCT successfully detained targets in their areas of operation through cordon-and-search operations and combat patrols.

Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army, and 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th BCT, searched houses suspected of holding terrorists in the Ameriyah district of Baghdad. The mission was successful and resulted in the capture of three suspects, two of whom were Syrian.

The search found 10 to 12 122 mm and 130 mm rounds enhanced with propane to make a larger fireball in the explosion.

In another 256th operation, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, captured three personnel, all positively identified as targets. The 2-156th personnel knocked on doors when the targeted houses turned up empty, and citizens of the neighborhood led soldiers to the suspected terrorists.

The combined efforts of other 256th and Iraqi army units resulted in the capture of 33 detainees.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, 4th Iraqi Army, brought in 15 detainees after conducting their cordon-and-search missions. While conducting patrols in their area, the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and 2nd Battalion, 3rd Iraqi Army, performed a hasty cordon and search and brought in 18 suspected terrorists. The detainees are being held for questioning at an undisclosed location, officials said.

(From a Task Force Baghdad news release.)

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