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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi, Coalition Forces Continue to Pound Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2007 – Coalition and Iraq forces continued taking the fight to the enemy in a variety of recent operations.

Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 21 suspected terrorists yesterday and today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq networks in the Tigris River Valley.

In a village southwest of Samarra, coalition forces conducted several coordinated operations today targeting individuals believed to be close associates of an al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. As coalition forces approached, an armed man emerged and maneuvered toward a nearby palm grove. Coalition forces engaged the terrorist, killing him.

As the ground force secured the area, another armed man emerged and maneuvered toward them. Responding in self-defense, coalition forces engaged, killing him. Two of the targeted individuals and one suspected terrorist were detained on site, including one individual who allegedly is responsible for attacks against coalition forces. During the course of operations, four Iraqi civilians were injured. They were treated on site and transported to a military medical facility.

Nearby, coalition forces targeted individuals believed to be members of a security network for an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. During the operations, four of the targeted individuals were captured and three other suspected terrorists were detained.

Coalition forces also captured an individual believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq emir responsible for military, administration and financial matters in the village, and to have with ties to senior leadership. In addition to the targeted individual, two suspected terrorists were detained. One suspected terrorist was wounded during the operation when he jumped from a building to evade the patrol. The suspect was transported to a military medical facility.

Also today, coalition forces detained two suspects while targeting an associate to al Qaeda in Iraq in the Arab Jabour area of Baghdad.

In other recent operations:

-- Southwest of Tarmiyah yesterday, coalition forces captured an associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader operating in the northern belt around Baghdad. Officials allege he is responsible for helping foreign terrorists enter Iraq, as well as for kidnapping and weapons trafficking in the country. Five other suspected terrorists were detained during the operations.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bomber. The targeted individual is believed to organize, plan and direct car-bombing operations in Kirkuk and is tied to foreign terrorist networks in the region. Two of the suspects are believed to be relatives of the targeted individual.

-- Near Sinjar on Sept. 28, Iraqi army soldiers participated in an air assault. The operation led to the discovery of suicide bombers. The soldiers observed a truck moving after curfew in a known al Qaeda in Iraq transit area. They stopped the vehicle and ordered the terrorists to lie on the ground. The passenger did not listen and continued to advance, officials said. Two Iraqi soldiers advanced on the passenger to have him stop, when he detonated a suicide vest hidden in his clothing. The vest contained small steel ball bearings. The blast killed the terrorist, an interpreter and two Iraqi soldiers. After the detonation, the soldiers saw the driver moving and appearing to reach for a weapon. They fired on him killed him. Three coalition service members who accompanied the unit and three Iraqi soldiers received non-life-threatening injuries in the blast, officials said.

-- Also on Sept. 28, Iraqi forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained a suspected terrorist leader and destroyed a large weapons cache. Iraqi special operations forces detained a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader believed to be responsible for criminal activities in Ghazaliyah and the surrounding areas. His cell is suspected of conducting assassinations and extra-judicial killings, engaging in firefights and committing crimes against the Iraqi army.

-- In a separate operation Sept. 28, terrorists ambushed U.S. and Iraqi forces as they approached a targeted location to detain a high-level al Qaeda in Iraq leader. The forces responded to the attack with well-aimed, proportionate fire, official said. Close-air support provided suppressive fire, allowing the teams to exit the area. There were no casualties.

-- Coalition forces near Samarra on Sept. 28 detained a suspected key communications link between senior leaders of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq. The man is alleged to be responsible for the movement of numerous suicide bombers into Iraq. In addition to the targeted individual, coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists on site.

-- In another Sept. 28 operation in Samarra, coalition forces took fire and called in close-air support. The attack killed five terrorists. During the operation, coalition forces discovered rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, ammunition, and an improvised explosive device on site. Three buildings and the large cache of weapons were safely destroyed to prevent further use by terrorists.

-- On Sept. 27, coalition forces arrested four men and rescued two kidnap victims in Baghdad’s Rashid district. They also uncovered a weapons cache. Helicopter crews coordinated with ground forces to conduct the operation. The troops conducted a coordinated air-and-ground operation to arrest extremists responsible for launching indirect fire attacks from Bayaa in Western Baghdad.

-- In northern Iraq, Iraqi soldiers with U.S. advisors detained 17 suspected terrorists during two raids Sept. 27. Iraqi army scouts conducted a series of intelligence-driven helicopter assault raids southwest of Taji, resulting in the detention of an al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader and 14 others suspected of conducting recent attacks against coalition forces. In another operation, Iraqi soldiers detained two suspected terrorists during a raid near Bayji. The soldiers detained the targeted individual who allegedly is responsible for making improvised explosive devices and targeting Iraqi and U.S. forces operating in the area. The soldiers also detained one man suspected of assassinating an Iraqi police officer.

-- An air weapons team supporting U.S. special operations forces in Diyala province, near Dali Abbas village, killed three enemy combatants Sept. 27.

-- Iraqi soldiers recovered and destroyed a large weapons cache Sept. 26 in the Zaab village area. Acting on intelligence reports, the forces located and destroyed the cache that contained eight 105 mm artillery rounds, a 155 mm artillery round, 12 120 mm mortar rounds, three 130 mm complete artillery rounds, a complete 105 mm artillery round, a 107 mm rocket body, 15 fuse heads, five rocket-propelled-grenade fuses, five Russian boosters, nine 120 mm mortar fuses, three 57 mm rockets and two cases of 57 mm fuses.

-- Iraqi police discovered a weapons cache in Ameriyah and turned it over to Marines for destruction Sept. 26. Fallujah police officers received the cache of more than 100 mortar and artillery rounds and various other weaponry from fellow police officers in the Anbar city of Ameriyah, located south of Fallujah.

-- Concerned Iraqis turned in a large amount of homemade explosives to coalition forces at Patrol Base Inchon, about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, Sept. 26. Members of the Qargouli tribe brought the cache of more than 1,275 pounds of homemade explosives in the back of several trucks to U.S. forces. The U.S. contingent has had great success in working with the local tribe, officials said. After intense search efforts in the area led to the detention of multiple al Qaeda operatives and cell leaders, local residents began coming forward to work with the coalition.

-- On Sept. 25, soldiers from the 3rd Iraqi Army Division, supported by coalition helicopters, killed seven enemy fighters after they were observed emplacing an improvised explosive device by a culvert near Tal Afar. After positively identifying the group and engaging them, the coalition aircraft radioed for an Iraqi patrol to proceed on the ground. The patrol killed two enemy fighters attempting to flee the site. As the soldiers investigated the culvert, they repelled an ambush by two enemy fighters, killing both. The soldiers found a cache of seven IEDs ready for emplacement with 5 to 8 pounds of homemade explosives each.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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