American Forces Press Service
May 9, 2008 - Coalition and Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad killed six enemy fighters, fended off an attack, and captured and destroyed several weapons caches yesterday. Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed six criminals, who attacked coalition forces with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms during multiple engagements in the Sadr City district of Baghdad yesterday.
-- At about 1:30 p.m., soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were attacked by criminals with RPGs and small arms. Soldiers returned fire and killed one criminal.
-- At about 2 p.m., soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, identified one Iranian trained "special groups" fighter on a rooftop with a weapon. Soldiers engaged the individual and killed him.
-- At about 4:30 p.m., soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and 1138th Engineer Battalion were attacked with RPGs and small arms while they were emplacing barriers to provide security for the residents of Sadr City. Soldiers fired one tank round and machine guns, killing three enemy fighters.
-- Soldiers from 1138th Engineer Battalion were later struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting a route-clearing mission at about 5 p.m. Soldiers were then attacked with RPGs and returned fire, killing one enemy fighter. No soldiers were injured in the IED attack.
"Special group criminals continue to disrupt the security of local Iraqi communities," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for Multinational Division Baghdad and 4th Infantry Division. "These barriers will improve security, life will get better for Sadr City residents, and together with the Iraqi security forces, we will bring the criminals to justice."
In other operations yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers engaged two enemy rocket teams and fended off an attack during night operations.
-- At about 6:30 p.m., soldiers monitoring an aerial surveillance system witnessed two special groups members gathering around a rocket rail that had been used for an indirect-fire attack earlier in Sadr City. The enemy fighters then loaded two carts and pushed them down a street. An aerial weapons team was called in, engaged the individuals with one Hellfire missile, killing both.
-- Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were attacked by fighters using small-arms fire at about 8:35 p.m. in Sadr City. Acting in self-defense, the soldiers fired one M1A2 Abrams tank round and machine gun fire, killing two of the attackers.
-- At about 10:45 p.m., soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle witnessed four special groups members load a rocket rail into a vehicle and drive away in New Baghdad. The UAV followed the vehicle until it stopped and parked inside a garage in Sadr City. The UAV engaged the garage with a Hellfire missile. Two enemy fighters were killed, and the rocket rail, garage and vehicle were destroyed.
Iraq security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers destroyed several weapons caches across Baghdad yesterday.
-- At about 6 a.m., soldiers with Company C, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, discovered a weapons cache containing eight 120 mm mortar rounds in West Rashid.
-- At about 8 a.m., Iraqi army soldiers found three weapons caches during a combat patrol in Sadr City. The weapons caches contained five 155 mm artillery rounds, four 120 mm mortar rounds and assorted ammunition and equipment.
-- At about 11:30 a.m., Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers patrolling the Mansour district of Baghdad discovered an improvised explosive device made up of a paint can filled with ammonium nitrate, wrapped in detonation cord. In addition, a 40 pound bag of ammonium nitrate and a 60 pound bag of an unknown chemical were found at the site.
-- At about 2:30 p.m., Iraqi army soldiers discovered a weapons cache northwest of Baghdad containing three 30 pound bags of homemade explosive and four rocket-propelled-grenade initiators.
-- At about 4:45 p.m., Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered a weapons cache west of Baghdad containing a 155 mm artillery round, 130 mm mortar round, two rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, a rifle grenade and other assorted ammunition.
"The Iraqi Security Forces are visibly out on the streets securing and protecting the people of Baghdad," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, spokesman, MND-B and 4th Infantry Division. "They sacrifice daily and are conducting independent operations."
A Multinational Division Baghdad air weapons team killed two enemy fighters and wounded four, all of whom were involved in launching a rocket attack on Sadr City citizens. The individuals were hiding in a building in the Sadr City district of Baghdad at approximately 2 p.m. May 8 after launching the rocket. The criminals launched the rocket attack at about 1:30 p.m. that killed two Iraqi citizens, injured eight more and damaged a house in central Baghdad. An unmanned aerial vehicle, conducting a surveillance mission in the area, observed the individuals moving rocket rails from the rocket site to an alley near a building. It then maintained positive identification as they entered a building and were observed on the rooftop.
An aerial weapons team was dispatched to the area and engaged the enemy fighters. The team fired three Hellfire missiles into the building, one at the first floor, one at the second floor and one at a shack on the roof, and killed and wounded the enemy fighters. Bomb damage was limited to the multi-story building involved in the attack.
"These criminals are responsible for the murder of innocent Iraqi civilians, who died as a result of their heinous, indiscriminate attack," said Army Col. Allen Batschelet, Multinational Division Baghdad and 4th Infantry Division chief of staff.
Also yesterday, Iraqi security forces detained a special groups cell leader and three al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists in two separate operations. Iraqi special operations forces conducted an operation in Baghdad and detained a Bayaa district special groups cell leader believed to be responsible for kidnapping operations and indirect-fire attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces. Two additional suspects were detained. In Ramadi, an Iraqi special weapons and tactics team detained three al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists known to be involved with coordinating improvised-explosive-device attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces and facilitating foreign fighters.
Earlier, Iraqi security forces, "Sons of Iraq" citizen security group members, and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized caches and recovered weapons across Baghdad on May 7.
-- At about 9:20 a.m., Sons of Iraq members in Adhamiyah discovered a possible improvised explosive device that had been inadvertently picked up by a sanitation truck. The Sons of Iraq found two 81 mm projectiles, a 120 mm Hera Mark I mortar, a projectile booster and detonation cord.
-- At about 10:45 a.m., Iraqi National Police, along with soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, seized munitions found in an abandoned mosque while conducting a patrol in eastern Rashid. Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers secured the area as the Iraqi police obtained permission to enter the mosque. The Iraqi police entered the abandoned mosque and seized two containers of homemade explosive, a rocket-propelled grenade with launcher, a smoke grenade, and an Iraqi army uniform.
-- At about 6:50 a.m., soldiers with Company C, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, discovered a weapons cache containing three 107 mm rockets, five RPGs, a 60 mm mortar, and 200 rounds of PKC light machine gun ammunition during a combat patrol in western Rashid.
-- At about 4 p.m., soldiers with Company B, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, discovered a weapons cache consisting of eight 155 mm projectiles and five 60 mm mortar rounds while on patrol in western Rashid.
"Along with our Iraqi security forces partners, we are taking these dangerous weapons off the streets," Batschelet said. "Reducing the number of weapons available to criminal elements contributes directly to the safety of Iraqi citizens."
In other earlier operations in Iraq:
-- Multinational Division Center soldiers recovered nearly 200 weapons rounds near Shubayshen, about 30 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, May 7. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), acted on a tip that there was a weapons cache in the area. The cache contained 82 57 mm rockets, 95 82 mm mortars, and 23 120 mm rounds, all of which could have been used as improvised explosive devices. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel will dispose of the ordnance at a later date, officials said.
-- Iraqi army soldiers and Iraqi police officers prevented potential improvised-explosive-device attacks in the East Mansour district of Baghdad when they stopped a vehicle that was being used to transport IEDs in the area at about 1 p.m. May 7. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 54th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, along with Jamia Iraqi police officers, conducted a traffic stop after noticing a suspicious individual driving down a road. After stopping the vehicle, the soldiers and police officers discovered the deadly weapons in the vehicle. The forces fired at the man and wounded him. Inside the vehicle, the forces seized three tanks of oxygen that were set up as IEDs. An explosive ordnance detachment detonated the device. "The Iraqi security forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism every day as the combat the terrorist forces," Batschelet said. "Their attention to detail prevented what could have been a deadly attack on the innocent people of Iraq."
-- Soldiers from 320th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), unearthed a cache during air assault operations in the Said Abdullah corridor, about 30 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, May 6. Soldiers from 320th Field Artillery, found a buried cache that contained 18 86 mm projectiles, three 82 mm rounds, three 130 mm rounds prepared as improvised explosive devices, one 75 mm rocket, one 60 mm mortar base plate, one rocket-propelled-grenade round, and one packing tube with 2,500 7.62 mm rounds. The unit destroyed the cache.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)