American Forces Press Service
Aug. 21, 2007 - Coalition troops today killed five al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists and captured 11 suspects during three operations in central and northern Iraq, officials said. Residents of western Baqubah tipped off coalition officials that al Qaeda operatives were forcing citizens out of their homes. Two armed men inside a suspected terrorist safe house challenged a coalition assault force, and the coalition troops killed the two men. They also killed aanother armed man who emerged from a nearby building with a weapon aimed at the assault force.
After observing another group of suspects moving toward a small palm grove near the assault force, coalition forces attempted to call them out of their fighting positions, but the enemy fighters did not comply. Coalition forces engaged the group, killing one and capturing five others. The U.S. troops also found some improvised explosive devices and disarmed them.
Today during a firefight in Mosul, coalition forces captured a Syrian man suspected of assisting foreign terrorists and facilitating bomb-making operations. One insurgent was wounded in the exchange, and four other suspects were detained for their ties to the bomb-making cell. Intelligence reports indicate the group was planning a large-scale attack in the Husaybah area, officials said.
Coalition troops today also raided a group of buildings south of Kirkuk, targeting a close associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. Upon arrival at the scene, surveillance teams observed one man moving into position against the assault force. Coalition forces engaged the man, killing him. The ground forces detained two suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to the terrorist leader.
"Iraqis are making it clear they do not support al Qaeda in Iraq, nor do they want terrorists in their communities," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "With their help, we will continue our assault on al-Qaeda in Iraq and its terror networks."
Yesterday, Iraqi security forces accompanied by U.S. Special Forces soldiers destroyed a weapons cache during a raid near Diwaniyah. The Iraqi and U.S. forces destroyed a large cache containing large quantities of explosively formed penetrators and rocket-propelled grenades.
In operations Aug. 19:
-- U.S. Apache helicopter crews destroyed a possible enemy antiaircraft weapon and a vehicle during an operation over southern Baghdad.
-- Iraqi citizens helped coalition troops find four weapons caches near Baghdad. Two caches that contained a heavy machine gun barrel, receiver, mount, seat and tripod, 133 green flares and 54 red flares were found near a highway in the Mahmudiyah area. Another cache north of Taqa yielded eight 57 mm and nine 150 mm canisters and two 50-pound bags of homemade explosives.
-- A concerned citizen pointed out a cache containing a 155 mm round, 10 pounds of homemade explosive, and a pressure-bar trigger for an improvised explosive device northwest of Baghdad.
-- Acting on a tip, U.S. troops took custody of 11 alleged insurgents being held by a neighborhood watch in the Mechaniks area of Baghdad's Rashid district. Coalition and Iraqi security forces have been encouraging neighborhoods to form watch programs to help provide a safe, secure area to help spur economic and infrastructure growth.
-- Fourth Iraqi Army soldiers assisted by an Iraqi infrastructure security battalion and advised by U.S. Special Forces troops detained a suspected al Qaeda agent during a raid near the Heyshel area of Kirkuk. Iraqi forces seized a sniper rifle with magazines, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher with rounds, an AK-47 rifle, artillery rounds, a rocket, chest harnesses, and military uniforms.
-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist during a raid in the Washira district of Ramana, near Qaim.
In Iraq operations Aug. 18:
-- An Iraqi sacrificed his life to thwart an attack on U.S. soldiers and fellow citizens when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a citizens' meeting in Arafia. The selfless Iraqi's actions saved the lives of four U.S. soldiers and eight civilians. The citizens' group soon provided the local police with the location of an al Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the attack. The Iraqi police immediately conducted a raid that resulted in four arrests.
-- U.S. soldiers discovered four weapons caches in Qubbah and Mukeisha villages in the Diyala River Valley during Operation Lightning Hammer. The soldiers found two caches consisting of small-arms ammunition and magazines, 20 sticks of dynamite, detonation cord, 78 blasting caps, a pistol, a suicide vest carrier, six DVDs of suicide bombers, land contracts to rent land to members of the Islamic State of Iraq, propaganda encouraging extremists to kill U.S. troops, and an extremist handbook. Two other caches were discovered in the village of Mukeisha. They contained 14 rockets, 10 rocket-propelled grenades, 20 60 mm mortar rounds, five 60 mm mortar tubes, eight sticks of dynamite, and an anti-aircraft weapon system.
-- Iraqi and U.S. troops nabbed 10 suspected terrorists after a firefight with enemy forces south of Mahmudiyah. The U.S. and Iraqi forces were dispatched to investigate reports that the enemy was transferring weapons from a local mosque. As U.S. soldiers approached the mosque, they came under rocket-propelled-grenade fire. A rocket hit the soldiers' vehicle, causing a small fire that was quickly extinguished. A concerned citizen said a group of armed men had fled the mosque in groups of three and dispersed in different directions. U.S. and Iraqi soldiers searched the mosque and found five possible rocket-launching devices. A search of nearby buildings yielded a flak vest and ammunition. Ten people were detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack.
-- U.S. ground and aerial forces teamed up to kill five insurgents during an operation southeast of Baghdad. Coalition aircraft were called in to engage a squad-sized enemy element. The aircraft also destroyed one truck and one anti-aircraft weapon system.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)