Iraqi Special Forces
The Iraqi special forces, which are highly trained and equipped with advanced tools, will stalk and arrest all the terrorists and those who tamper with the security of the Iraqi homeland and citizens.
The 1st Infantry Division hosted an Iraqi Special Forces Conference at Forward Operating Base Danger on April 27, 2004. From the hiring of Iraqis for police duties to the equipment needed to fulfill those duties, a wide-range of topics was discussed at the six-hour conference attended by U.S. and British forces.
The battalion known as the Thundering Third came down hard on enemy safehavens around Fallujah in their to-date largest operation alongside Iraqi forces in late August 2004. 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, alongside Iraqi Specialized Special Forces, conducted Operation Clean Sweep Aug. 23-24 in areas east of Fallujah. The operation was designed to hinder enemy movement to and from the city and eliminate any possible safe havens in the vicinity. "We're basically sweeping rural open areas because we're suspecting terrorists are transporting and selling weapons, shooting mortars and attacking our firm bases," explained Sgt. Edgar O. Payan, a platoon guide with Company K. "Terrorists are moving through areas like crop fields as they come and go out of Fallujah, so we're hoping we nab some suspects and find their weapons," added Payan, a 25-year-old from Pomona, Calif. The 48-hour operation kicked off in the early hours of Aug. 23. By the end of the first day, Marines had arrested two suspects for stowing munitions in their homes. Clean Sweep not only called for Marines to search homes for weapons, but to walk the land around the target areas, looking for anything out of the ordinary. The Marines were especially on the lookout for materials used to create improvised explosive devices.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on 23 August 2004, the Iraqi Specialized Special Forces led a search into a Ramadi mosque after receiving fire while conducting a patrol. The search of the mosque was not part of the original operation, nor was it considered a threat until gunmen opened fire on the SSF and US Forces on the street outside. Two gunmen who fired their weapons from a vehicle just outside the mosque were killed by the SSF and US Forces. Inside the mosque the SSF and Iraqi National Guard Commandos found mines, mortar rounds, Ak-47 rifles and RPK machine guns, as well as terrorist propaganda. ISSF, alongside US Army soldiers and Marines with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, under the 1st Marine Division, were conducting Operation True Grit in the city of Ramadi, in an area reported to have increased insurgent activity. The operation was designed to disrupt those activities, and was a huge success. ING Commandos and Iraqi Police also assisted in Operation True Grit. During the operation, Multi-National Forces and SSF searched several houses and 17 insurgents were detained, four of which were found setting up an ambush on top of one of the houses.
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