Sunday, January 20, 2008

Phantom Phoenix Update

On going attacks as part of Phantom Phoenix

Coalition Forces resume air assault on al-Qaeda targets (Arab Jabour)
Coalition Forces resumed the aerial bombardment of an al-Qaeda in Iraq sanctuary in Arab Jabour Jan. 20. The precision air strikes targeted suspected AQI safe havens as part of Operation Marne Thunderbolt, which is part of the country-wide Operation Phantom Phoenix. The raid follows the Jan. 10 and Jan. 16 air strikes in the same region which hit a combined total of 64 targets with a total weight of more than 80,000 pounds of bombs.
TIKRIT, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 10 suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operatives during a raid in an Al Ali village, in the northern Diyala River Valley area, known as the bread basket, Jan. 17. The successful raid was part of Operation Raider Harvest, which is part of Operation Phantom Phoenix – a countrywide operation to eliminate AQI and other extremists in Iraq.Working off tips from local Iraqis, Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment detained the suspects at seven different locations in the village.One of the detainees is a suspected AQI company commander, four are suspected AQI fighters, two are suspected improvised-explosive-device emplacers and three are suspected AQI informants.“With the detainment of this cell, the residents within this area will be more inclined to help Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces in identifying remained AQI,” said Capt. Samuel Davis, 3/2 SCR Intelligence officer. “With the detention of the majority of the members of this cell, insurgent activities within the area will be severely decreased, and increase the likelihood of being able to establish a Concerned Local Citizen group or neighborhood security.”Since Jan. 8, with the start of the clearing phase of Raider Harvest, CF and ISF have detained 70 suspected AQI in the AO, killed four and wounded four more. In addition, 25 IEDs have been found and cleared, along with eight vehicle-borne IEDs, six house-borne IEDs and 30 weapon caches.At the same time as the ongoing mission of clearing AQI from the bread basket, CF, ISF and Concerned Local Citizens are also conducting humanitarian aid drops, providing medical aid, delivering fuel, establishing security checkpoints and building Joint Combat outposts. Operation Raider Harvest is not only designed to clear AQI from the bread basket , a former AQI stronghold and safe haven, but also ensure that they are unable to return.
Coalition disrupts al-Qaeda networks in central Iraq; one killed, 19 detainedBAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 19 suspects today during operations targeting al-Qaeda networks in central Iraq. Near Mahmudiyah, Coalition forces targeted an alleged associate of the al-Qaeda in Iraq network operating south of Baghdad. Reports indicate the suspect is a replacement for a former leader who was detained by Coalition forces Dec. 10 for his role in terrorist attacks in the region (see MNF-I press release A071210a, “Coalition force operations disrupt al-Qaeda networks, 27 suspects detained,” dated Dec. 10, 2007). As Coalition forces arrived in the area, they observed several individuals maneuver from the target buildings and supporting aircraft was called to engage the enemy force, killing one terrorist. Two suspected terrorists were also detained during the operation without incident. During an operation in Baghdad, Coalition forces captured a suspected terrorist associated with the al-Qaeda in Iraq network in Karkh. The suspect is allegedly an experienced improvised explosive device and car bomb facilitator involved in terrorist attacks throughout Baghdad. Reports indicate the individual is involved in foreign terrorist facilitation, to include receiving money for facilitators from outside of Iraq. The suspect is also allegedly associated with the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader for all networks operating in Baghdad. Also in the capital city, Coalition forces captured an alleged associate of a senior level al-Qaeda in Iraq foreign terrorist facilitator. The suspect is believed to have strong ties to numerous terrorist leaders in Baghdad and foreign terrorists operating in and outside of Iraq. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground force detained two suspected terrorists on site.During coordinated operations near Samarra, Coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists including an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq member involved in terrorist media and propaganda operations. Reports indicate the suspect is tied to al-Qaeda in Iraq leadership from Samarra to Mosul, including the suspect detained Dec. 27 for his role in media operations and foreign terrorist facilitation (see MNF-I press release A071227b, “Coalition forces target al-Qaeda assassination and facilitation networks, 19 detained,” dated Dec. 27, 2007). Coalition forces conducted a multi-day operation Jan. 17 to 19 north of Jalula, targeting associates of the al-Qaeda in Iraq network pushed from the northeast Diyala River Valley into the Hamrin mountain area. During the operation, the ground force detained 11 suspected terrorists and found a cache of weapons which was safely destroyed on site. “We’re on the offensive against al-Qaeda and the foreign terrorists they bring into Iraq,” said Navy Capt. Vic Beck, MNF-I spokesman. “We are committed to pursuing al-Qaeda in order to ensure security and stability for all of Iraq.”- 30 -FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE MNF-I PRESS DESK AT:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces detained 16 suspected terrorists Friday and today during operations targeting al-Qaeda networks in central and northern Iraq.
In Salman Pak this morning, Coalition forces captured an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq member involved in attacks against Concerned Local Citizens groups in the region. Reports indicate the suspect is a close associate of the cell leader for the terrorist network in the city, which is involved in attacks against Coalition forces, beheadings, sniper and improvised explosive device attacks, and foreign terrorist facilitation. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground force detained one suspected terrorist.
During an operation in Baqubah today, Coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists, to include a wanted individual allegedly involved in the planning of an improvised explosive device attack in Sadr City. Reports indicate the suspect is associated with a terrorist responsible for car bomb attacks in Baghdad, who has ties to the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in the capital city.
North of Samarra this morning, Coalition forces captured an alleged terrorist senior leader tied to the al-Qaeda networks operating in Tikrit, Bayji and Mosul. Reports indicate the wanted individual is connected to terrorist leaders throughout the Tigris River Valley. Three additional suspects were also detained during the operation.
During two coordinated operations in Mosul today, four suspected terrorists were detained while targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders involved in the area’s terrorist network and associated with Haydar al-Afri, a terrorist leader for the western region of Mosul, who was killed Dec. 25 for his involvement in attacks against Iraqi and Coalition forces (see MNF-I press release A080109a, “UPDATE: Coalition forces positively identify terrorist killed in operation Dec. 25,” dated Jan. 9, 2008).
Northeast of Taji Friday, Coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be associated with the al-Qaeda in Iraq network operating north of Baghdad. The network is reportedly responsible for improvised explosive device attacks, extortion, intimidation and weapons trafficking. Reports indicate the suspect is responsible for foreign terrorist facilitation, to include arranging travel for the individual detained by Coalition forces Jan. 14 for his role in attacking Iraqi citizens for not following Sharia law (see MNF-I Press Release A080114a, “Coalition forces disrupt foreign terrorist facilitation networks, eight detained,” Jan. 14, 2008). In addition to the wanted individual, the ground force detained two suspected terrorists on site.
“These operations are further examples of our successes against al-Qaeda in Iraq,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “With the help of Iraqi citizens, Iraqi and Coalition forces are finding where the terrorists hide and dismantling their networks.”

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