American Forces Press Service
March 10, 2008 - Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained nine suspects today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda networks in central and northern Iraq. Coalition forces near Ad Dawr targeted the leader of a terror cell for the southern Karkh al Qaeda in Iraq network. Intelligence led coalition forces to a location where the wanted individual was believed to be operating. The ground force detained one suspect, who then provided information on the whereabouts of another alleged terrorist.
The ground force then conducted an operation in Baghdad where they targeted the alleged terrorist responsible for numerous attacks in the region for the Rusafa and Karkh al Qaeda networks. The ground force detained one suspect, who is believed to be a brother of the targeted individual. This suspect then led coalition forces to his brother's location. As the ground force arrived at the target building, they received small-arms fire and observed enemy personnel flee the area. The ground force located and detained one of the men, an alleged leader for the southern Karkh network responsible for numerous car-bomb attacks in the area.
The ground force engaged and killed two terrorists in a nearby alley. Coalition forces destroyed two vehicles on site they assessed were being equipped for car-bomb attacks. Also during the operation, an Iraqi child was wounded, treated on site and transported to a local medical facility for further care.
Northwest of Samarra, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged al Qaeda leader involved in propaganda and media operations in Anbar province.
In Mosul, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda cell leader. Nearby, two suspected terrorists were detained during operations targeting a close associate of a senior leader for the Mosul terrorist network.
"We will continue to dismantle terrorist networks that threaten the security of Iraq by deliberately placing innocent women and children in danger by their actions and presence," said Navy Lt. Michael Street, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We regret when civilians are hurt while coalition forces search to rid Iraq of these terrorists."
In yesterday's operations:
-- Northeast of Balad, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged explosives facilitator connected to the Baghdad al Qaeda network. Coalition forces also discovered 30 bags of urea, a component for homemade explosives, in one of the target buildings.
-- Near Taji, coalition forces detained another 10 suspects during an operation targeting an alleged associate of the senior leader for the northern-belt al Qaeda network. "Al Qaeda's indiscriminate violence has no place in Iraq's future," said Navy Capt. Vic Beck, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "While a tough fight remains ahead of us, Iraqi and coalition forces will continue take the fight to al Qaeda, keeping the terrorists on the defensive and diminishing their ability to attack innocent civilians."
-- Northwest of Samarra, coalition forces conducted an operation targeting an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq leader involved in propaganda operations for the network in Anbar province. As coalition forces arrived in the area, they received enemy fire from four individuals departing the target building and moving into a nearby field. The ground force killed the four armed terrorists and found various equipment and weapons, including four military-style assault vests, machine guns, ammunition and magazines, bomb-making materials, and medical supplies. The forces found and destroyed two other weapons caches in the area, and a suicide bomber detonated his vest, killing himself but not wounding any coalition forces.
-- Also in Mosul, another three suspects were detained during a separate operation targeting a senior leader for the city's al Qaeda network.
-- Northeast of Balad, coalition forces targeted an alleged al Qaeda associate involved in facilitating foreign terrorists and smuggling weapons and bomb-making materials. Intelligence reports led coalition forces to a location where an al Qaeda meeting was believed to occur, and four suspected terrorists were detained. Coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained two others attempting to flee the area.
-- During another operation nearby, coalition forces targeted an alleged foreign-terrorist facilitator and associate of the wanted individual from the previous operation. Four terrorists were captured and one was killed in the operation. The building and two vehicles were destroyed to prevent their further use by terrorists.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists, including an alleged al Qaeda associate operating in the southeastern region of the city.
--Northeast of Samarra near the Hamrin Mountains, coalition forces conducted two multi-day operations that ended yesterday that targeted an alleged safe haven for an al Qaeda kidnapping cell. During the operations, the ground force detained nine suspects and discovered various terrorist propaganda materials and three weapons caches, including several machine guns, rifles, ammunition magazines and military-style assault vests, which were destroyed on site.
"Our untiring efforts to remove al Qaeda from Iraq reach into every corner of the country," said Army Lt. Col. Maura Gillen, a Multinational Force Iraq spokeswoman. "We will continue to target and attack their networks, degrading their ability to attack the Iraqi people and the security forces that protect them."
In March 8 operations:
-- Northeast of Balad, coalition forces detained four suspects during an operation targeting an alleged al Qaeda associate involved in facilitating foreign terrorists and smuggling weapons and IED materials.
-- East of Baghdad, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists including an alleged associate of the northern al Qaeda in Iraq network. Coalition forces called for the occupants of the building to come out, but one terrorist occupant did not comply with directions or heed warnings. The coalition force engaged the terrorist, killing him.
-- Near Taji, coalition forces captured an alleged associate of an al Qaeda advisor for the southern-belt network. The suspect reportedly is connected to numerous members of the network, including the senior leader. The southern-belt network is operating in a degraded state after suffering a significant loss of key leaders as a result of coalition operations, U.S. military officials said. Another suspected terrorist was also detained.
-- In Beiji and southwestern Mosul, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists while targeting financial and foreign-terrorist facilitators for al Qaeda. "These operations are further examples of Iraqi and coalition force success against al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders and their networks," said Army Col. Don Bacon, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We're continuously pressuring the terrorists, finding the places they hide, disrupting their operations, and improving overall security for the Iraqi people."
-- U.S. soldiers detained three suspected insurgents during early-morning operations in Baghdad's Rashid district. One of the detainees is linked to numerous indirect-fire and improvised-explosive-device attacks in the area.
-- U.S. soldiers confiscated a weapons cache during operations near Joint Security Station Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. The munitions seized included SK5 rockets, PG7 rockets, type-69 rockets, 160 mm mortars, 120 mm mortars, rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, projectiles, Iraqi hand grenades, and various other munitions and weapons. An explosive ordnance disposal team blew up the munitions and weapons.
Earlier, Iraqi residents of Sikek, a village southwest of Mosul, turned over a weapons cache to Iraqi and U.S. police March 7. A joint patrol of Iraqi and U.S. military police discovered a number of 90 mm mortars. "Finding and confiscating these weapons caches continue to reduce the availability and capability of the insurgent's supplies," said Army Maj. Mike Indovina, an 18th Military Police Brigade spokesman.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)