Iraqi Troops Flush Samarra of Insurgents, Weapons
By Matt Murphy
— Iraqi security forces have netted 54 suspected insurgents, several
vehicles, a weapons cache with 37 large mortar and artillery rounds,
and an assortment of rifles and rocket launchers in the first three
days of an anti-insurgent operation.
of the Iraqi Police Commandos head out on a mission as part
of an operation to rid Samarra of insurgents and weapons.
More than 1,500 members of the Iraqi security forces are
involved in the operation.
by Sgt. Matt Murphy, USA / DoD Photo
by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, the operation began March
4 with more than 1,500 Iraqi security forces personnel executing
missions under the leadership of Gen. Adnan Thabit, security adviser
to the ministry. A police commando brigade, two police commando
battalions, a public order battalion and local police make up
the security forces contingent.
said this is the ministry’s largest anti-insurgent operation
since the battle for Fallujah in November 2004, and it is completely
led and executed by Iraqi leaders and troops. A few U.S. military
personnel are serving as advisers and observers. Police trainers
with the U.S. Department of Defense also are there, watching from
the rear as the police commandos sweep the city and surrounding
missions in Samarra, which has a reputation for being a safe haven
for insurgents, only pushed them to outlying areas and they eventually
returned, officials said.
is the contact point between north and the south of Iraq,”
said Adnan, as he is known. “It is also the backyard of
Fallujah. The civilians here are satisfied with the operation
and now feel more secure,” Adnan said.
presence in the city with the security forces has prompted nonstop
telephone calls to his ministry office from citizens either expressing
appreciation or offering information about insurgent activities
and locations, officials said.
A former Samarra
resident, Adnan knows the city and the surrounding area well.
With the support of police commando leaders, he laid out a plan
for the operation that called for a citywide curfew, and called
for the security forces to surround the city and flush the insurgents
out. While several Iraqi security forces teams searched house
to house in the inner city, other teams hit the villages in a
staggered pattern and found several insurgents on a target list.
of the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, Baghdad Police Commandos, led
the village operations. The unit’s members set up traffic
checkpoints, where troops apprehended suspects with two rocket-propelled-grenade
launchers in the trunk of their vehicle. The troops also confiscated
a truck carrying a box of RPGs, small arms, and items commonly
used to make improvised explosive devices, such as detonation
team captured suspects that led them to a small weapons cache
consisting of 23 120 mm mortar rounds and 13 155 mm mortar rounds.
Police commandos cleared the area so a U.S. explosives team could
destroy the rounds.
very proud of the commandos and honored by the way these men do
their jobs,” Jalil said, upon learning of the successful
sweeps and the capture of a targeted suspect. Believed to be a
sniper who shot at the commandos, the suspect was taken to a detention
center for processing.
or injuries among the Iraqi security forces have been reported
to date in this ongoing operation.