American Forces Press Service
Nov. 20, 2007 - Coalition forces killed five terrorists and detained 11 suspects affiliated with the al Qaeda in Iraq network during several operations in central and northern Iraq that ended today, officials said. During operations conducted yesterday and today in Rabiyah and northern Samarra, coalition forces captured a wanted individual while targeting al Qaeda financial and courier operations. The captured individual is believed to be associated with propaganda operations and senior terrorist leaders. During the operation, coalition forces saw one individual maneuver into the palm groves. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force called for supporting aircraft to engage, killing the terrorist. Coalition forces detained three suspects, in addition to the wanted individual.
North of Samarra, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be a courier for senior al Qaeda leaders. During the operation, one suspect received minor wounds. He received medical care on site before being detained by coalition forces. In addition to the wanted individual and the wounded suspect, the ground force detained two suspects without incident.
During the operation in Rabiyah yesterday, coalition forces captured an alleged former al Qaeda in Iraq leader believed to be a planner of car-bombing attacks in Mosul. Coalition forces detained two other suspects, in addition to the wanted individual.
Southwest of Baqouba, coalition forces targeted al Qaeda in Iraq and foreign terrorist facilitators during a 24-hour operation that began Nov. 18 and ended yesterday. Coalition forces saw several men maneuvering toward their position, and perceiving hostile intent, called for supporting aircraft to engage the men, killing four terrorists. Coalition partners in the area discovered weapons, including missiles and grenades, ammunition and an improvised explosive device.
"These operations exemplify the continued success we're having in operations against terrorist networks," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "With the help of Iraqi citizens and their security forces, we will succeed in defeating al Qaeda in Iraq."
In other recent operations, coalition forces killed 12 terrorists, detained five suspects and found two bodies during operations that began Nov. 18 and ended yesterday targeting al Qaeda networks along the Tigris River Valley.
During coordinated operations east of Samarra, coalition forces targeted al Qaeda in Iraq propaganda operations and several senior terrorist leaders. As the ground force approached the target area, they were immediately engaged by armed men. Responding in self-defense, coalition forces called for supporting aircraft, who engaged the enemy, killing five terrorists.
During the firefight, several armed men maneuvered inside a nearby building and continued firing on coalition forces. The ground force returned fire in self defense, killing five terrorists. Upon further investigation, the ground force discovered an al Qaeda detention facility, which contained the bodies of two additional men bound in shackles and believed to have been executed prior to coalition forces' arrival.
Coalition forces also found suicide vests on three of the killed terrorists and a weapons cache, including rocket-propelled grenades, rockets and anti-aircraft weapons. Coalition forces detained one suspect during the operation.
During operations In Mosul, coalition forces killed a wanted individual believed to have been a senior leader in Mosul's terrorist security network. Reports indicate the wanted individual planned attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, which included multiple suicide car-bombing attacks. Reports also indicate he purchased weapons and explosives for the terrorist network.
As coalition forces approached the target building, an armed man emerged. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force engaged, killing the terrorist, who was later identified as the wanted individual by one of the building's occupants. Two suspects were also detained during the operation.
Coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda in Iraq car-bombing network facilitator during operations south of Baghdad late Nov. 18. Coalition forces called for supporting aircraft to engage a vehicle associated with the targeted individual. The vehicle was safely destroyed and coalition forces assessed one terrorist was killed by the precision air strike.
In another operation south of Baghdad, coalition forces detained two suspects while targeting members of al Qaeda in Iraq in Arab Jabour believed to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
"We will relentlessly pursue terrorist leaders who try to deny the Iraqi people a future of their choice," Danielson said. "Car bombings and other attacks against innocent Iraqis will not be tolerated."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)