January 19, 2005 - ?
To increase security in light of the first Iraqi national elections on Jan. 30, coalition forces began a new offensive on Jan. 19 named Operation Checkmate. 50 miles south of Baghdad in Jabella, Six CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters took the task force composed of elements of the Iraqi special weapons and tactics team, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Force Reconnaissance platoon and U.S. Army troops and swarmed a crop of houses believed to shelter a number of militants and a stockpile of weapons and munitions.
The raid, supported later by Marine forces, successfully detained 15 insurgents including a suspected former intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's regime. A small weapons cache was discovered containing 11 rifles and shotguns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition. This operation signified the beginning of increased offensive operations for the purposes of securing Baghdad and the surrounding area before Jan. 30.
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