WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2006 – U.S. soldiers detained 15 suspected insurgents, discovered two vehicles being fitted as suicide bombs, and found a big weapons cache Oct. 12 as part of "Operation Dealer" conducted in the Tameen area in western Ramadi, Iraq. Based on a tip from a local resident, soldiers from Task Force 1-35 detained 15 individuals who were identified as suspected terrorists.
"This is a great example of the cooperation and support of the local residents in the task to rid their neighborhood of anti-Iraqi fighters," said Capt. Matt Graham, commander, Bravo Company, 2-6 Infantry, one of the units in the U.S. and Iraqi task force conducting Operation Dealer.
The task force captured two stripped-down vehicles in the process of being converted to suicide bombs. Four suspects were detained in connection with the operation.
The large weapons cache the task force discovered consisted of four rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, 34 155 mm artillery shells, 13 60 mm mortar rounds, eight AK-47s, a PKC machine gun, a Dragonov sniper rifle with scope, three pounds of high explosives, 400 pounds of detonation cord, 48 blasting caps, eight radio controlled IED initiators, four pressure activated IED initiators and more than 600 rounds of small-arms ammunition. Several smaller caches and additional munitions were found during the course of Operation Dealer.
Operation Dealer involved Iraqi army, Iraqi police, and coalition units. The Iraqi police assisted by establishing vehicle check points at critical intersections and searched vehicles to deny insurgent forces the ability to evade the combined Iraqi and coalition force operation.
The 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, with elements of 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, conducted house-to-house searches to help establish a new combat outpost.
"This was truly a joint operation. I had U.S. Army soldiers, Marines and airmen alongside Iraqi army and Iraqi police units," said Lt. Col. Tony Deane, Task Force 1-35 commander. "It shows what great effects can occur when each of these units bring their special capabilities to the fight. Each unit did what it does best, and the results speak for themselves."
Iraqi security and coalition forces experienced a great deal of enemy resistance in the Tameen area, said Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Operation Dealer was launched to establish a combat outpost in the contested area, he said.
"Local residents were cooperative, and individuals who were displaced in the establishment of the new combat outpost received immediate initial compensation and will be provided full compensation through the civil-military operation center," MacFarland noted.