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Operation Arrowhead Ripper

June 18-?, 2007

Operation Arrowhead Ripper was one of many operations that was part of Operation Phantom Thunder, which as of July 2007 was the largest operation since the begining of the invasion. Under the control of Multinational Division-North, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Stryker, Operation Arrowhead Ripper began on June 18, 2007 in Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province.

The role of Operation Arrowhead in the, large operation was to defeat enemy in the city of Baqubah and secure the population by conducting detailed and deliberate clearing operations while providing humanitarian relief.

About 10,000 Soldiers, with a full complement of attack helicopters, close-air support, Strykers and Bradley fighting vehicles, took part in initial stage of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. Elements of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade also participated in the opening stage. Included in the strike were over 1000 Iraqi Army soldiers and a comparable number of Iraqi Police.

Once the operation began, much needed food humanitarian relief arrived. Iraqi government officials moved more than 60 truckloads of government food supplies from Baghdad to Baqouba June 29, 2007, while troops continued to clear the city of al-Qaida operatives during the operation.

The government food supplies, in addition to the humanitarian relief efforts provided by Baqouba based Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces, marked the beginning of a sustained food distribution program that helps alleviate food shortages in the future for Baqouba residents.

The delivery of food supplies on June 29, 2007 reinstated a food rationing program by the Iraqi government, which was interrupted in September 2006 ago by al-Qaida. As of June 29, ISF and Coalition Forces have provided more than 394,000 pounds of rice and flour to residents of Baqouba and handed out over 16,000 vegetarian humanitarian rations.Also, at least 60 al-Qaida operatives have been killed, 74 have been detained, 31 weapons caches have been discovered, 81 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed and 18 booby-trapped structures have been destroyed.

On July 1, 2007, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces continued to methodically clear booby-trapped structures as Operation Arrowhead Ripper entered its 13th day. As ISF and CF continuedto clear al-Qaeda out of Baqouba, they discovered many booby-trapped structures in the Mujema section of town that were left behind by al-Qaeda as they attempted to flee. The structures, many of which are houses, pose a great threat to the local residents and are too dangerous to be disarmed.

ISF and CF have been making every attempt to render safe any houses they can and have only destroyed structures in which there is no hope of saving it without undue risk. However as of July 1, 2007, 24 structires had been distroyed.

As of July 9, 2007, Iraqi army and Coalition Force Soldiers from Task Force Lightning continued offensive operations in and around the capital of Diyala province. At least 60 al-Qaida operatives have been killed, 215 have been detained, 55 weapons caches have been discovered, 124 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed and 24 booby-trapped structures have been destroyed as part of Arrowhead Ripper.