SALMANPAK, Iraq -- B-1B Lancers, F/A -18 Hornets, Iraqi forces and the US Army Third Infanrty Division cleared out an al-Qaida stronghold 30 miles southeast of Baghdad late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Coalition aircraft dropped more than 30,000 pounds of bombs on former al-Qaida territory in Salman Pak, Iraq. This was all part of the on-going Operation Marne Thunderbolt which is part of "Operation Phantom Phoenix", an overarching operation to defeat extremism throughout Iraq. This particular mission targeted an area where al-Qaida laid obstacles, in the way of improvised explosive devices, and took up safe haven at the same time. They also used the land to traffic weapons and send fighters up into Baghdad.The United States Air Force and Army teamed up with Iraqi forces to clear that area of IED's and weapons caches in order to move ground forces into the area.
In case you are wondering why we are taking out Houses the baddies load them with explosives our troops go into clear them and get killed. This is what took out the soldiers at the begining of Phantom Phoenix.