American Forces Press Service
Nov. 21, 2007 - Coalition forces killed four terrorists and captured four suspects during operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq leaders conducted in central and northern Iraq today, officials reported. Coalition forces killed four terrorists during operations north of Hawija. As the ground forces approached the target area, they called for the building's occupants to come out, but they did not comply. The individuals were armed and attempted to fire on coalition forces. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force engaged, killing four terrorists, including two wanted individuals. Reports indicate that an al Qaeda leader in Kirkuk and a car-bombing kingpin were among the terrorists killed.
During anti-insurgent operations west of Kirkuk today, coalition forces captured a wanted individual while targeting weapons and foreign facilitators. The wanted individual was associated with acquiring weapons and materials for attacks on coalition forces and smuggling foreign terrorists into the region. Coalition forces approached the target building and called for the building's occupants to come out and they complied. The ground force detained four suspects without incident, including the wanted individual who identified himself to coalition forces.
Yesterday, coalition forces killed two wanted terrorists during operations south of Baghdad. Intelligence reports led coalition forces to the individuals' location, and they called supporting aircraft to engage. An air strike killed the two terrorists, who were reported to be leaders in the Arab Jabour region and responsible for numerous attacks on coalition forces and maintaining weapons caches. During the operation, coalition forces detained six suspects and destroyed one vehicle.
"We're bringing down al Qaeda's networks across Iraq," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Iraqi and coalition forces are working together to dismantle al Qaeda and protect the Iraqi people from their violence."
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security forces, assisted by coalition forces, detained 81 suspected extremists and confiscated several weapons caches in Diwaniyah during Operation Lion Pounce, Nov. 17 to 19.
Maj. Gen. Othman Ali Farhood, 8th Iraqi Army Division commander, outlined the successes of Lion Pounce in a news conference at Camp Echo on Nov. 19.
"The northeast quarters of Diwaniyah, where the operation was conducted, were under control of criminal and militant groups," Farhood said. He added that no casualties or equipment damage had been associated with the operation to that point.
Polish Maj. Gen. Tadeusz Buk, Multinational Division Central South commander, said Operation Lion Pounce was the first large-scale operation led by an Iraqi army general who commanded not only army soldiers, but also Iraqi police units. "The results of the operation show that it was well-planned and prepared," Buk said.
Sheikh Hussein al Bderi, chairman of the Provincial Security Committee, highlighted sound cooperation among local government officials, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces as key to the operation's success. He added that new security stations will be built to maintain order and security in the region.
In Nov. 19 Iraq operations, Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Special Forces captured six extremists during a series of early morning raids. In Rahmaniya, Iraqi soldiers and U.S. troops conducted a cordon-and-search operation targeting five extremists believed to be part of an improvised-explosive-device and weapons-facilitation cell. Five extremists were detained during the raid. In a separate operation, the Hillah Special Weapons and Tactics team and U.S. Special Forces detained an extremist suspected of being part of a cell responsible for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.
During operations Nov. 17-18:
-- Iraqi and U.S. Special Forces troops captured seven extremists Nov. 18 during operations targeting illegal cells operating within Iraq. Five terrorist suspects were detained in an operation in the Samarra and Tikrit areas. Two more suspects were detained during other operations conducted near Diwaniyah.
-- Acting on tips from Iraqi citizens, U.S. soldiers with the 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment "Tuskers" and Iraqi volunteers working in the Saydiyah section of West Rashid seized several caches of weapons and explosives Nov. 18. The caches contained a complete 82 mm mortar system, more than 40 pounds of homemade explosives, and several AK-47 rifles and some pistols.
-- U.S. troops captured two individuals and seized a cache of explosively formed penetrators, rockets and other munitions during operations in southern Baghdad Nov. 17. Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment "Black Lions," 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, launched the operation after some individuals were spotted fleeing after a rocket attack in the Aamel neighborhood of West Rashid. The two suspects were tracked to a house and detained.
A search of the building revealed the cache. The cache contained six complete explosive-formed penetrators, three 107 mm Iranian-made rockets, more than 30 mortar rounds of various calibers, 12 57 mm projectiles and other explosives and bomb-making materials.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)