Friday, February 8, 2008

Coalition Troops in Iraq Kill 4, Detain Numerous Al Qaeda Agents

I have to admit I like those headlines.

Coalition forces in Iraq killed four suspected al-Qaida agents and detained numerous other suspects Feb. 8 during operations to disrupt terrorist networks in northern and central Iraq, military officials said. In Sharqat, coalition forces captured an alleged al-Qaida senior leader and his deputy. The detainees are linked to local kidnappings and mortar and improvised-explosive-device attacks against coalition and security groups of local citizens. Three more suspects also were detained during the operation. In Mosul, coalition forces detained three suspects during an operation targeting a senior foreign terrorist facilitator. The suspected terrorist is linked to al-Qaida in Iraq operations, including a Jan. 28 attack that resulted in the deaths of five coalition soldiers. Also in Mosul, coalition forces detained two more suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged IED manufacturer involved in attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. "These operations are another step forward in the campaign to disrupt the al-Qaida networks in northern Iraq," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multi-national Force Iraq spokesman. "As terrorists shift their operations to new locations, Iraqi and coalition forces will pursue them, attacking their networks and driving them from their hiding places." In Baqouba, coalition forces killed four suspected al-Qaida terrorists, while another suspected insurgent blew himself up. Coalition troops came upon four terrorists holed up inside a building. The four terrorists refused to surrender, and they were killed by coalition troops. A remaining terrorist inside the building detonated an explosive charge and blew himself up. In Baghdad, coalition forces captured seven suspected al-Qaida operatives. The detainees are linked to al-Qaida in Iraq senior leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri. "Iraqi and coalition forces remain resolved to bring the terrorists to justice, ending their campaign of indiscriminate violence against the Iraqi people," said Army 1st Lt. Michael Street, a Multi-national Force Iraq spokesman. East of Samarra, coalition forces captured three suspected terrorists during an anti-insurgent operation. In operations Feb. 7: Coalition forces killed three suspected al-Qaida terrorists during an operation east of Samarra. Near the Hamrin Mountains, coalition troops detained two suspected al-Qaida agents linked to a terrorist-run prison and training camp in the region. Coalition forces captured a suspected Iranian-trained "special groups" leader and detained three other suspects during operations to disrupt criminal networks in the Mashru area, south of Baghdad. The detainee is linked to Iranian-trained enemy elements in Wasit province. Reports also indicate the detainee was an associate of several senior-level criminal leaders involved in attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces. Iraqi national police disrupted the kidnapping of six members of the Sons of Iraq, a security group composed of concerned local citizens, from a checkpoint in Baghdad's Ur neighborhood and rescued three of its members after a shootout. The kidnappers fled with three victims. Iraqi and coalition forces are on the lookout for the kidnappers and the abducted Iraqis. In Feb. 6 operations, Sons of Iraq members operating near Mushada turned in a weapons cache to coalition forces. The cache contained 67 80 mm projectiles, eight 90 mm projectiles, miscellaneous ordinance, four unfinished IEDs and five homemade rocket launchers. The cache's contents were destroyed. Also Feb. 6, Iraqi police, Sons of Iraq and coalition troops found a 4,400-pound cache of explosives in Salahuddin province during a joint operation. The cache contained 40 bags filled with a mixture of ammonia nitrate and cocoa powder. Each bag weighed about 110 pounds. The mixture is commonly used as a homemade explosive employed by al-Qaida in Iraq. "The Iraqi police and the Sons of Iraq are committed to bringing stability to their country," said Army Lt. Col. William W. Prior, commander of 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "They prove this on a daily basis. Today, they were able to make a significant impact in securing their country, their homes and their families."

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