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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

June 14, 2003
Release Number: 03-06-55


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


4th Infantry Division and Task Force "Ironhorse" Conclude Operation Peninsula Strike

Tikrit, Iraq - In a textbook-style, joint operation, the 4th Infantry Division and supporting units from Task Force Ironhorse, concluded an extensive raid on June 12, 2003. The raid, named Operation Peninsula Strike, involved thousands of soldiers from 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade; the 173rd Airborne Brigade; and 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

The operation took place in two major stages. The first stage of the operation involved moving soldiers and equipment into strike positions, intelligence gathering, and coordination with local police. During the second stage, soldiers conducted coordinated raids within the target area via land, air and water to capture or destroy terrorist elements. Air assault teams, ground attack forces, raid teams, river patrol boats and local security combined forces to block off escape routes and operate check points and systematically sweep the areas suspected of housing terrorists.

Operation Peninsula Strike incorporated a variety of units, utilizing the overwhelming firepower and effects of a joint and combined arms team. Army infantry, armor, artillery, aviation, and engineers, along with Air Force elements worked together to accomplish the mission. Coalition forces have been trained to aggressively pursue and capture suspected hostile forces, protect themselves and follow all procedures in association with the apprehension of detainees. During the operation, coalition forces took care to protect innocent civilians and respect the culture and customs of the Iraqi people.

Operation Peninsula Strike resulted in the capture of approximately 400 detainees and the seizure of numerous weapon systems and ammunition. The 4th Infantry Division and coalition forces continue to seize illegal weapons in support of the National Weapons Policy implemented on June 1, 2003. All but 30 detainees have been released since the beginning of the operation. There were two hostile civilians wounded during the operation. All of the wounded were treated and sent to appropriate medical facilities. Four soldiers wounded during the operation were evacuated and listed in stable condition.

Currently, specially trained soldiers are screening the detainees to determine who will be released or retained for further questioning. These soldiers are also collecting information, which may lead to the apprehension of hostile groups who plan or who may commit acts of violence against coalition forces and innocent Iraqis. The information gathered will also help coalition forces provide a safe and secure environment for the Iraqi people. Two former Iraqi generals turned themselves in during the raids. Maj. Gen. Abul Ali Jasmin, Secretary of Defense Ministry, and Brig. Gen. Abdullah Ali Jasmin, Head of the Iraqi Military Academy, are both being detained for questioning.

Coalition soldiers who are engaged by hostile, non-compliant forces will use all necessary force to protect themselves and others. The 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse remain resolute and committed to working with coalition forces and the local citizens to stop terrorists who try to hinder rebuilding efforts. The success of Operation Peninsula Strike is a significant step forward in the ongoing journey toward a safe, secure and free Iraqi.




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