February 26, 2006
Marines in the Haditha Dam region mounted counterinsurgency operation "Minotaur" on February 26, 2006.
Operation Minotaur was aimed at clearing more than nine kilometers of riverbank and several small villages south of Haqlaniyah - a town along the Euphrates River in Al Anbar Province, northwest of Baghdad. Weapons Platoon, I Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment were said to have spearheaded the operation.
Although this is usually an inactive area, the Marines said they want to leave no stone unturned in their quest to hunt down insurgents. Operation Minotaur focused on Khaffajiyah and southern outlying areas including the island of Alus. The Marines went house-to-house looking for insurgents and used metal detectors to sweep the river bank for weapons caches.
Approximately six weeks before Minotaur, the Marines swept through the area and reportedly found numerous weapons caches buried along the river bank. This prompted the battalion to continue to sweep through this area, maintaining a vigilant presence to intimidate insurgents.