WASHINGTON, July 3, 2006 – Iraqi and coalition forces captured or killed three insurgents and detained 17 others throughout Iraq in operations yesterday and July 1, while Iraqi Police acted on a tip to secure a large homemade bomb June 30. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, killed an assassination cell leader in Tal Afar in an exchange of gunfire yesterday.
The soldiers were patrolling Tal Afar when Col. Kareem Jassim Hathal, the 3rd Battalion commander, recognized Ghassan Abd al Khadir Farhat, a known insurgent leader, wanted by Iraqi and coalition forces. Hathal directed his troops to detain the wanted man, who attempted to evade the soldiers. As the troops chased Farhat, several insurgents in the vicinity began firing small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at the Iraqi troops.
The soldiers took cover, while Hathal coordinated with coalition forces to provide aerial coverage and surveillance. A team of Apache helicopters from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and ground forces from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, responded. Once the Apaches arrived in the area, the Iraqi troops resumed their search for Farhat. The Iraqi soldiers searched the areas surrounding of Farhat's last sighting and were about to move on when a soldier heard a faint sound in a water tank, where the terrorist was found hiding.
Farhat fired several errant shots at the Iraqis before he was shot and killed by the soldiers. The insurgents' fire injured a boy, who was taken to Mosul General Hospital. His status is unknown. Iraq's 3rd Battalion assumed responsibility and took the security lead in this portion of Tal Afar on May 30. On July 1 in central Baghdad, Iraqi National Police and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed one terrorist and detained 15, including one who was wounded, after being attacked by insurgents.
Iraqi police from 3rd Brigade, 1st National Police Division, responded to a tip from an Iraqi citizen concerning an attack on the Al Nur Mosque. When they arrived, insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at the police. During the attack, the insurgents destroyed three Iraqi national police cars and wounded an Iraqi policeman. Soldiers from the 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, responded to a police request for support.
After securing and cordoning the area, the combined patrol of Iraqi National Police and coalition soldiers returned to the mosque, where about 18 insurgents attacked them with small-arms fire. When the patrol returned fire, the insurgents fled into nearby buildings. Shortly after the incident, the mosque loudspeakers broadcast a message saying terrorists were inside the mosque.
National police entered the mosque compound and detained one terrorist who had a grenade and two sticks of TNT. A search of the mosque compound and the surrounding area resulted in the national police detaining an additional seven insurgents. They also found a weapons cache consisting of AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Seven more insurgents - four in a nearby house, two who laid down their weapons and surrendered, and one who threw his weapon over a fence and was caught as he attempted to flee the area - were detained near the mosque.
In Haswah, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi security forces killed a terrorist after exchanging small-arms fire in Haswah on June 30. Soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, along with soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, were conducting a combined cordon-and-search operation for the suspected terrorist.
The terrorist was suspected of murdering prominent Iraqis for cooperating with coalition forces, weapons trafficking and rocket attacks on coalition forces bases. After the soldiers the suspect at one house, an occupant provided intelligence on the suspect and accompanied soldiers to the individual's home.
Suspects fired upon the soldiers through the front door after the soldiers identified themselves. A squad of Iraqi and U.S. soldiers moved to the back of the house, where the terrorist crashed through the back door and raised an AK-47 at them. The soldiers shot the terrorist. Medics on the scene attempted to treat the suspect, and a medical evacuation helicopter was dispatched. The terrorist died as the helicopter landed.
Soldiers found hand grenades, sniper ammunition and magazines, parachute flares and hundreds of explosive primers inside the individual's house. "It's encouraging to see that Iraqis are taking action in their own neighborhoods," Capt. Colin Brooks, commander, Company B, 2nd Battalion-8 Infantry Regiment, said. "Iraqi soldiers, despite a heated exchange of small-arms fire, were consummate professionals and fought shoulder-to-shoulder with their American counterparts."
On June 28, soldiers from the weapons platoon, Company C, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, captured two suspected terrorists during a planned cordon-and-search operation at a gas station in Jisr Diyala. During the operation, soldiers from Company C were moving in on their targets when the terrorists attempted to escape from the back door of the gas station.
The suspects are alleged to be involved with the kidnapping and murders of multiple local nationals, including a local district advisory council member, and a small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade attack against soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry, on June 10. The terrorists were taken to a secure site for further questioning.
In the southwest Baghdad neighborhood of Bayaa, Iraqi police, acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, were able to locate and secure a large improvised-explosive device June 30. At about 8 p.m. that evening, Iraqi police cordoned off the area around a vehicle containing five 155 mm artillery rounds, four large shape-charges and a propane tank filled with homemade explosives connected to a car battery in the bed of the truck. For unknown reasons, the cab of the truck had exploded, but the chassis and bed were intact. The body of one terrorist was found inside the cab.
An Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team was able to disable the potentially deadly car bomb and further demonstrate the effectiveness of Operation Amaliya Maan Ila al-Amam, or "Together Forward," the Iraqi government's security crackdown in Baghdad. There were no reported injuries or damage to equipment or civilian personnel.