American Forces Press Service
Aug. 3, 2007 - Coalition forces in Iraq detained 17 suspected terrorists during raids targeting al Qaeda operations in the Tigris River Valley today, military officials reported. During a precision raid in Baghdad, coalition forces captured an al Qaeda operative allegedly involved in weapons trafficking and supplying terrorist groups with improvised-explosive-device materials. One other suspected terrorist was detained during the operation.
In other operations today:
-- Coalition forces raided four buildings during coordinated operations in Bayji targeting al Qaeda cell leaders there. The ground forces detained six suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to a sniper team leader and terrorist cell known to attack coalition forces.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces captured an alleged terrorist cell leader and four suspected associates. The targeted individual is believed to be involved in sniper and suicide car-bomb attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
-- Coalition forces continued to target al Qaeda operations in Tarmiyah with an operation focused on terrorist senior leaders. The ground forces detained four individuals with suspected ties to an al Qaeda emir responsible for administering Sharia law in the northern belt around Baghdad.
"We will not rest until al Qaeda in Iraq's operations have been decimated," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Our operations continue to target terrorist leaders and operatives who attack coalition and Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi citizens they protect."
In operations earlier this week:
-- Coalition forces captured four suspected insurgents and recovered materials for making improvised explosive devices during a security operation in the Amin section of eastern Baghdad on Aug. 1. The operation, dubbed Operation Winston Salem, was intended to clear the area of insurgents and confiscate weapons caches.
-- Iraqi security forces conducted an early-morning raid Aug. 1 in Kirkuk that resulted in the capture of a suspected al Qaeda key leader. The targeted suspect is believed to be responsible for a car-bomb attack in Kirkuk on July 16 that killed more than 85 civilians and injured more than 180. With U.S. Special Forces soldiers as advisors, the Iraqi security forces also detained four suspects in addition to the primary target.
"This successful mission is another demonstration of the commitment and resolve to stopping violent criminal elements and ensuring the safety of the population," a senior U.S. Special Forces commander said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)