American Forces Press Service
May 6, 2008 - Iraqi and coalition forces detained 15 suspected terrorists, including two wanted individuals, while targeting al-Qaida operations throughout Iraq today.
-- In two coordinated operations 60 miles north of Baghdad, coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists, including a wanted man believed to work in the foreign-terrorist-facilitation network. When coalition forces arrived at the target building, three suspects crept out the back and into tactical positions behind a vehicle. Coalition forces perceived hostile intent from the men and called for supporting aircraft to engage them. One suspected terrorist was wounded in the engagement and taken to a military medical facility.
-- Iraqi and coalition forces in Kirkuk captured a wanted man believed to distribute extremist propaganda and work with al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists.
-- In Tarmiyah, 25 miles north of Baghdad, coalition forces detained four suspects while targeting a terrorist tied to several al-Qaida in Iraq networks in central Iraq.
-- While targeting an al-Qaida operative in Mosul who coordinates attacks against them, coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist.
"Iraqi and coalition efforts to stop the violence al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists inflict on Iraqi citizens continue in earnest," said Army Lt. Col. Maura Gillen, a Multinational Force Iraq spokeswoman. "We are working with the elected government to help provide a more secure future for the Iraqi people."
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed nine criminals and discovered weapons caches during night operations in Baghdad yesterday and today.
-- At about 6:35 p.m., soldiers from 11th Iraqi Army Division discovered six rocket-propelled grenades and two explosively formed projectiles in New Baghdad.
-- Iraqi army soldiers from 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, discovered 32 81 mm mortar rounds while on patrol west of Baghdad at about 7 p.m.
-- At about 7 p.m., Iraqi national police officer from 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, discovered a weapons cache in the courtyard of the Imam Ali Mosque in the Ghadier neighborhood of Baghdad. The police found five explosively formed projectiles, two improvised explosive devices, five rocket rails, three grenades and numerous rounds of various ammunitions. Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, provided a security cordon outside the mosque.
-- At about 9:20 p.m., Iranian-trained "special groups" fighters fired upon a barrier emplacement team in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood. An aerial weapons team was called in support of troops in contact and fired one Hellfire missile, eliminating the criminal threat.
-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, currently attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Iraqi army soldiers from the 11th Iraqi Army Division, were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades in Sadr City. Iraqi army soldiers engaged the dismounted criminals with RPGs, and soldiers from 1-64 Armor fired two M1A2 Abrams tank rounds, killing six criminals.
-- At about 2:50 a.m., an aerial weapons team witnessed criminals emplacing an improvised explosive device in New Baghdad. The team fired two Hellfire missiles and killed three criminals.
"Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers are working side by side to eliminate the criminal elements, discovering and seizing weapons caches and capturing or killing criminals involved in violent attacks against innocent Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces," said Col. Allen Batschelet, chief of staff of Multinational Division Baghdad and 4th Infantry Division. "They put their lives on the line daily for the Iraqi people; they are all heroes."
Also yesterday, an improvised explosive device struck an emergency services unit of the Kirkuk police force at about 9 a.m. One member of the unit was killed, and seven were wounded in the attack. An explosive ordnance detachment and quick reactionary force immediately responded to the scene of the attack, which occurred on a popular thoroughfare frequented by morning commuters.
"These cowards will utilize any means necessary to stop the attempts by the courageous people of Kirkuk and its [Iraqi security forces] to bring about peace and stability to their city," said Army Col. David Paschal, commander of 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. "It's too late. These tactics will only strengthen the resolve of its citizens and the ISF that protect them. There are no more places to run and hide for these violent criminals."
In other operations yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed two criminals and discovered two weapons caches in Baghdad.
-- At about 5:15 a.m., soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, discovered a weapons cache containing 60 mm mortar rounds, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, an RPG warhead, a light anti-tank weapon, a PKC light machine gun, an RPG fuse and PKC rounds.
-- At about 8 a.m., soldiers with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, discovered two large containers filled with 7.62 mm rounds while on a combat patrol.
-- At about 10:30 a.m. in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Ur, a Multinational Division Baghdad patrol was attacked by criminals using small-arms fire. The soldiers returned fire and killed one special groups criminal.
-- At about 11:50 a.m., a Multinational Division Baghdad patrol received small-arms fire at a joint security station in southern Sadr City. An air weapons team fired two Hellfire missiles on the criminals' position. The team engaged with a third missile when the small-arms fire continued. There was no further contact.
-- At about 2:40 p.m. in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Jamilla, an unmanned aerial vehicle observed two special groups criminals emplacing an improvised explosive device in the median of the roadway. An air weapons team engaged the two, killing one and wounding the other. The wounded criminal was loaded into a vehicle and evacuated by other criminals. The IED was destroyed in the strike.
"The MND-B soldiers represent the best of our nation and are true professionals," Batschelet said. "They can transition from engaging a hostile enemy to providing assistance to the Iraqi people. They are warriors, peacekeepers and humanitarians."
Elsewhere yesterday, terrorists attacked Iraqi army members manning a security checkpoint in Diyala Province. Ten Iraqi army soldiers were killed and 13 were wounded. The wounded were evacuated to a nearby medical facility. "Attacks of this nature against those who are working to protect the citizens of Iraq and make the new Iraq safer for all citizens are yet another example of the barbarous nature of al-Qaida in Iraq," said Army Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, a Multinational Division North spokeswoman.
In a separate operation yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained 15 suspects while conducting night operations in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad. Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, detained 15 suspects and seized bomb-making materials as well as a large amount of Iranian currency. Seven of the 15 detainees were held for questioning.
"Operations to enforce the rule of law, detain criminal elements and disrupt their networks continue across Baghdad," said Army Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a Multinational Division Baghdad spokesman. "We are chipping away at their ability to intimidate innocent Iraqis and conduct their criminal activities."
Iraqi counterterrorism force teams advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers engaged special groups criminals conducting a small-arms-fire attack in Baghdad in two separate operations May 4 and yesterday, killing seven and detaining two.
During the May 4 operation, Iraqi forces killed one special groups fighter who was attacking an Iraqi police station and coalition forces with small-arms fire from a rooftop. As the team left the area, they were attacked again by small-arms fire from three more gunmen. The Iraqi team returned fire, killing two.
In the Shoalah neighborhood in northern Baghdad, the Iraqi team conducted an operation yesterday to prevent special groups activity and disrupt improvised-explosive-device networks. During the operation, special groups criminals attacked the team with an IED and small-arms fire. As a firefight developed, U.S. Special Forces soldiers authorized a coalition aircraft to engage the enemy. The aircraft fired four rounds, killing one enemy fighter. The Iraqi team then cleared two structures in the area and detained two individuals for questioning. After clearing the two structures, the team left the neighborhood and was attacked by three more gunmen. The Iraqi counterterrorism force troops returned fire, killing all three enemy fighters.
"Operations to enforce the rule of law, detain criminal elements and disrupt their networks continue across Baghdad," said Col. Bill Buckner, a Multinational Corps Iraq spokesman. "We are chipping away at their ability to intimidate innocent Iraqis and conduct their criminal activities."
In earlier operations, Kirkuk's emergency services unit and the Aruba police conducted a successful joint operation against members of a suspected kidnapping ring May 4. One of the suspects opened fire on police as they approached the target house. The police returned fire, killing the gunman. An Aruba policeman also was wounded in the attack. During a search of the premises, police recovered eight false identification cards, one AK 47 rifle with 35 magazines, and one pistol with 23 magazines. The police also detained another occupant in the house, who is been held for questioning.
"The police are doing an excellent job of targeting criminal elements in Kirkuk," Paschal said. "The city's police forces are well-trained and prepared to defend their citizens."
Iraqis who fail to obey the rule of law will be found out and brought to justice by Iraqi security forces and the people of Kirkuk, Paschal added.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)