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American Forces Press Service

One Iraq Operation Ends, Another in Final Stages

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2005 Operation Shank wrapped up today, officials in Iraq announced.

The operation, conducted in central and southern Ramadi, was the fifth in a series by the Iraqi army and coalition forces engaged in combined clearing operations to disrupt terrorism and set conditions for a successful Dec. 15 election in the provincial capital of Anbar.

Shank primarily involved targeted raids conducted by Iraqi soldiers and U.S. forces against terrorist safe houses in the area. The raids resulted in the detention of four suspected members of al Qaeda in Iraq, who were held for questioning.

About 200 Iraqi soldiers from 1st Brigade, 7th Division, and 300 Marines from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, took part in Shank.

Officials also announced today that Operation Iron Hammer was in its final stages, with the completion of construction of a long-term basing in the Hai al Becker region on the eastern side of the Euphrates River across from Hit and about 170 kilometers west of Baghdad.

Long-term Iraqi-U.S. security presence was established in Hit last summer as part of Operation Sword. Now the villages on the eastern side of the Euphrates River will benefit from the security and stability brought by Iraqi soldiers and U.S. forces, officials noted.

About 500 Iraqi soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and 1,500 Marines and sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, along with 500 soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment, have taken part in Iron Hammer.

No Iraqi Army or U.S. forces reported casualties during Iron Hammer. No air strikes or use of lethal force occurred during the operation. In addition, no reports of civilian casualties or disruption of basic services, such as water and utilities, occurred.

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