Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Iraq: Insurgents Killed, Detained in Raids

Task Force Baghdad soldiers on patrol today discovered a large cache of munitions in northeastern Baghdad. The soldiers -- from A Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment -- found 27 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, three 82 mm mortar rounds, 13 armor-piercing RPG launchers, 28 propellant chargers, 10,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, and 400 4. 5 mm rounds. All munitions were turned over to an explosive ordnance disposal team for.

In other developments, at least nine terrorists were killed and 16 terror suspects were captured in two separate incidents in southern Baghdad Dec. 19-20.
In the first incident, two vehicles were seen fleeing the scene of a raid Dec. 19. One group pulled a bound hostage from the vehicle and killed him. A U. S. warplane flying in support of operations in the area engaged and killed the terrorists.

The warplane then switched targets, engaging the other vehicle, which resulted in at least four terrorist deaths and four detainees. Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, transported three of the detainees to a military internment facility for further questioning. One wounded detainee was evacuated to a military hospital.

In a separate incident in northern Babil, 12 suspected terrorists were detained and an unknown number of weapons and medical supplies were confiscated during an early morning raid Dec. 20.

In other news, Operation Moonlight concluded Dec. 20. Moonlight was the first brigade-level operation conducted by Iraqi army soldiers in Anbar province. Five Iraqi army companies from 1st Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, led the operation and were supported by a company of U. S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2.

The operation netted a weapons cache and demonstrated the Iraqi soldiers' ability to gather intelligence, plan, execute and exercise command and control during a large-scale operation, officials said.

The Iraqi soldiers, with U. S. Marines acting as observers, cleared an area east of Ubaydi along the northern and southern banks of the Euphrates River. The area directly to the west was cleared last month during Operation Steel Curtain.

No terrorists were encountered during the operation; however, one Iraqi soldier received minor injuries from a roadside bomb attack. The soldier was treated at the scene and returned to duty. No Iraqi civilian casualties were reported.

Troops from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division found and cleared a cache Dec. 20. Troops found about 100 57 mm rounds, officials said. The site was secured for later destruction.

Elsewhere, two civilians were wounded in East Baghdad Dec. 20 when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle. Elements of the Iraqi 2nd Public Order Battalion were on the scene and secured the site. Iraqi security forces evacuated the wounded to a local hospital. An explosive ordnance disposal team investigated and determined the roadside bomb was a 125 mm artillery shell.

Also, U. S. forces completed a year-long project to rid an old Saddam Hussein regime ammunition dump north of Baghdad of its stores Dec. 16. The ammunition dump, known as Area Echo, housed tons of ordnance stockpiled by Saddam's military. The area contained everything from small-caliber ammunition, mortars and artillery shells to larger weapons such as 1,000-pound bombs, and surface to air missiles.

Soldiers of 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, were tasked with management of Area Echo and worked with contractors and explosive ordnance disposal teams to clear the compound of all munitions. The munitions were deactivated and the empty casings were de-milled by a contracting company. Nearly 20,000 tons of munitions were destroyed in the area.

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 46 close-air-support missions Dec. 20 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. U. S. Air Force F-16s and Navy F-14s provided close-air support to coalition troops in contact with terrorists near Balad. The F-16s strafed an enemy location and the F-14s strafed insurgents preparing an improvised explosive device.

Other U. S. Navy F-14s and F/A-18s provided close-air support to coalition troops in contact with terrorists near Balad, Ramadi and Rawah.

In addition, 11 U. S. Air Force, U. S. Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U. S. Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Above courtesy of DoD – by American Forces Press Service - Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, Task Force Baghdad and U. S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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