American Forces Press Service
Jan. 4, 2008 - Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 12 suspected insurgents today during operations targeting al Qaeda operatives in central and northern Iraq, military officials said. During two separate raids conducted north of Muqdadiyah, coalition forces targeted reported al Qaeda operations in the northeast Diyala River Valley region.
During one of the operations, the coalition force engaged and killed two terrorists. In a separate raid, a suspected terrorist displayed what appeared to be fresh wounds from a previous engagement. He was treated on site and subsequently detained, along with one other suspect. Coalition forces also destroyed a building in the area that was assessed to be a safe house for terrorist operations.
During an operation in Sadiyah, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be involved in an al Qaeda in Iraq media cell operating north of Muqdadiyah. The wanted individual also allegedly is associated with numerous terrorists operating in the Diyala River Valley region. During the operation, the wanted individual identified himself to coalition troops and was detained, along with three more suspected terrorists.
Southwest of Kifri, coalition forces captured another alleged terrorist leader responsible for a network operating in the Diyala region. The detainee allegedly is responsible for numerous attacks against coalition forces. Reports also indicate the suspect was previously injured during an Iraqi security forces operation. The detainee allegedly escaped from the hospital with the help of other terrorists, killing five Iraqi policemen during the escape.
In Mosul, coalition forces detained five suspects while targeting an alleged al Qaeda leader involved in weapons facilitation and kidnapping operations.
"Our operations are steadily chipping away at the al Qaeda in Iraq network," said Navy Capt. Vic Beck, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to relentlessly apply pressure on these terrorists that carry out brutal attacks against the Iraqi people and the security forces that protect them."
Yesterday, coalition forces killed seven terrorists during anti-al Qaeda operations in Muqdadiyah.
Coalition forces targeted associates of an al Qaeda leader allegedly responsible for coordinating and directing a large terrorist group, and carrying out executions in the Diyala River Valley region. Intelligence reports indicate that this terror cell killed at least two people in the last few days and has attacked coalition forces on multiple occasions.
The terrorists were positively identified at a known al Qaeda in Iraq safe house. Coalition forces directed a precision air strike that killed two of the terrorists.
Later that day, coalition forces positively identified terrorists involved in the same terrorist cell operating in the region. Coalition forces directed a second air strike that killed five more terrorists.
"Al Qaeda remains a threat to the safety and security of the Iraqi people," said Navy Cmdr. Ed Buclatin, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to strike the al Qaeda networks that are responsible for conducting heinous attacks against the Iraqi people."
In other Iraq news:
U.S. helicopter aviators destroyed an al Qaeda in Iraq safe house in the Zambraniyah area Jan. 1. A U.S. infantry patrol reported being firing on by occupants of the house. An AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade engaged the house with a Hellfire missile. One enemy was killed, another enemy was wounded, and five suspected al Qaeda fighters were detained during the operation. One local Iraqi was wounded. A second Apache helicopter destroyed an improvised explosive device discovered by a local citizen in the area.
Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi soldiers captured dozens of al Qaeda-affiliated extremists during a Dec. 29 operation conducted in the Ubaydi farmland 20 miles south of Baghdad.
During the operation, American and Iraqi troops searched houses and fields near the Tigris River. Iraqi soldiers detained 32 people that were on their most-wanted list. Three of the detainees were found in a "spider hole."
About half of the anti-insurgent force was made up of Iraqi soldiers. Iraqi police stopped al Qaeda fighters from escaping the targeted area.
"The purpose was to clear all reported or suspected enemy safe houses, meeting locations and cache sites in the northern portion of (the area of operations) Anzio," said Army Lt. Col. Dane Barksdale, a task force commander. "We detained more than 40 enemy and confiscated or destroyed enemy mortar and anti-aircraft ammunition." Iraqi soldiers discovered four 120 mm mortar rounds and 80 rounds of 20 mm anti-aircraft ammunition.
In Dec. 28 operations:
Coalition forces killed an al Qaeda leader and two other insurgents during operations conducted near Baghdad. Coalition forces targeted Muhammad Khalil Ibrahim, the deputy military leader for the al Qaeda in Iraq network operating south of Baghdad. Ibrahim was a key planner in numerous attacks against coalition forces operating in the Mahmudiyah area. He also was involved in the facilitation of foreign terrorists and weapons. Ibrahim and other senior al Qaeda members allegedly were planning to conduct a large-scale attack against coalition forces in the near future. "This was a dangerous terrorist who will never again harm innocent Iraqis or the security forces that protect them," said Army Maj. Anton Alston, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to relentless pursue terrorist leaders, like Ibrahim, who threaten our forces and attempt to deny the Iraqi people a future of their choice."
-- U.S. soldiers found an explosively formed penetrator cache during a cordon-and-search operation conducted in Baghdad's west Rashid sector. U.S. soldiers found three assembled armor-piercing bombs and six more ready for assembly while searching a residence in Aamel. The captured ordnance was removed for disposal.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)