American Forces Press Service
July 20, 2009 - U.S. forces made headway in an investigation of a rocket attack on a base in Iraq, and Iraqi-led forces detained suspected terrorists and seized weapons in recent operations in Iraq, military officials reported. U.S. soldiers pursued criminals suspected of launching a rocket attack against Contingency Operating Base Basra on July 16 that resulted in the deaths of three Multinational Division South soldiers.
Following the attack, U.S. troops were flown by helicopter to the suspected launch location, northeast of Basra Airport, where the soldiers were met by 14th Iraqi Army Division soldiers.
A U.S. patrol pursued a suspicious vehicle to a nearby house and searched for evidence related to the rocket launch. Meanwhile, a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol investigated another house nearby. Three men were questioned and released, and the investigation into the attack continues.
"The quick action of the 14th Iraqi Army Division inspires confidence that the criminals who committed this act will be brought to justice," said Army Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, commanding general of Multinational Division South. "We will not tolerate such acts of violence against our soldiers."
Elsewhere, the Iraqi 4th Emergency Response Battalion, aided by coalition advisors, arrested a suspected terrorist July 19 in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. The suspect is believed to have built and emplaced roadside bombs in support of a terrorist cell that targeted Iraqi security forces convoys.
In southern Iraq, Iraqi police from the Basra special weapons and tactics team, along with coalition advisors, arrested two suspected terrorists July 18 during an Iraqi-led operation.
The suspected terrorists are believed to be linked to an insurgent cell operating in Basra and are suspected of murder and roadside bomb and rocket attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
The force also uncovered four previously used 107 mm launch tubes, four 107 mm high-explosive rockets, a 107 mm rocket-launch rail system and various bomb-making materials.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)