Insurgents Attack from Mosque as Fallujah
Peace Talks Continue
By Doug Sample, USA
Even as coalition
and Iraqi officials are trying to move forward with peace talks
in Fallujah, U.S. Central Command reported today that insurgents
attacked coalition forces from a mosque in the city April 18.
news release reported that anti-coalition forces fired on the
crew of an M1-A1 tank from a building next to the mosque. The
tank crew returned fire, destroying the building and killing an
insurgent who was armed with a rocket- propelled grenade, the
news release said.
At the same
time, CENTCOM reported, a nearby group of Marines came under sniper
fire from the minaret of the mosque. They returned fire, and no
further hostile fire came from the mosque, the news release said.
Also in Fallujah on April 18, anti-Iraqi forces repeatedly engaged
Marines with small-arms fire, and after a short battle, the Marines
neutralized this threat, CENTCOM reported.
Today in Baghdad,
senior Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor emphasized
that full-scale fighting would ensue if peace talks fail and insurgents
don’t honor the agreed-upon cease-fire in Fallujah. "We communicated
to all parties (April 19) that we are very serious about these
talks," he said. "We are very serious about a peaceful
resolution to the situation in Fallujah, but everybody must recognize
that in the absence of a true cease-fire, major hostilities will
return on short notice."
Senor said, the coalition has begun working on implementing a
number of issues agreed upon in the cease-fire.
include unfettered access to the Fallujah hospital, removal and
burial of the dead, provisions to allow food and medicine to isolated
area of the city, changing the curfew from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and
allowing for the passage of official ambulances into the city.
The coalition also will begin allowing some 50 Fallujian families
per day back into the city.
critical components of the agreement include the turn-in of heavy
weapons and the resumption of regular joint patrols between coalition
and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps forces. He emphasized it’s incumbent
on all parties to work toward the removal of foreign fighters
and criminals who are using the city as a base of operations for
violence and terrorist acts in Iraq.
Marines operating near the Iraqi border town of Husaybah came
under further attack by enemy forces April 19, CENTCOM reported.
The Marines detained two people after their vehicle attempted
to run a checkpoint on a road leading out of the city. During
continued operations in the city, Marines have detained up to
60 suspects, the news release said.
near Ramadi raided a suspect building and recovered 40 82 mm mortars,
one 100 mm round, one Russian-made sniper rifle and 500 7.62 mm
rounds, the news release said. CENTCOM also reported that soldiers
from the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, assigned to the 1st Marine
Division, captured four enemy fighters from two separate locations
in coordinated raids near Ramadi. They recovered three AK-47 assault
rifles, ammunition magazines, and improvised explosive device
and mortar equipment.
At a Baghdad
news conference today, military spokesman Army Brig. Gen. Mark
Kimmitt said that the coalition and Iraqi police are investigating
the shooting deaths of two employees of the Al-Iraqiyah television
network April 19 by U.S. soldiers in Samara. Another person was
wounded, and a fourth, an Iraqi police officer, was unharmed,
the individuals filming Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and Iraqi police
checkpoints, a coalition base and routes to and from the locations,
and fired warning shots, Kimmitt said.
the warning shots were neglected," he continued, "the
individuals got into their vehicle and drove towards the coalition
base. As the vehicle approached the base, additional warning shots
were fired in an attempt to halt the vehicle."
the driver apparently disregarded the warning shots and drove
toward the soldiers and the base. "After more warning shots,"
the general said, "the vehicle did stop and (then) continued
to approach the base’s gate, and was engaged with direct fire."
As part of
the coalition’s force-protection efforts, the general said, five
signs are posted in the area clearly prohibiting filming and stopping
near the base.
he could not confirm initial reports that as many as 18 mortar
rounds were fired earlier in the evening at the Baghdad confinement
facility. He said that preliminary reports state that as many
as 21 prisoners may have been killed in the attack, but he cautioned
reporters that early accounts often are wrong.
and stability operations continue throughout Iraq, Kimmitt said,
but the past 24 hours have remained quiet, despite several small-arms,
RPG and mortar attacks. Several coalition soldiers and Iraqi security
forces were wounded during anti-coalition attacks, but no deaths
were reported, he added.
details on the following operations and events from the 24 hours
leading up to today’s news conference:
four people who attacked the city’s police headquarters with RPGs
and small-arms fire were apprehended. Coalition forces also detained
five people suspected of attacks in southeastern Mosul overnight.
In Tall Afar, a coalition soldier was wounded during a grenade
attack on a patrol. The patrol returned fire and apprehended two
West of Irbil,
ICDC soldiers discovered a large IED on the main road to Mosul.
In Baquba, four coalition soldiers were wounded after three IED
1st Calvary Division soldiers conducted three cordon-and-search
operations for weapons dealers, and detained three suspects.
on coalition elements were reported in the western zone of operations
a single reported attack caused no casualties or damage. And in
Ramadi, one attack occurred and left three Marines wounded.
insurgents used machine guns and RPGs to attack a U.S. military
police patrol, but not injuries were reported. In Hillah, an area
that has been relatively stable, the first attack in weeks occurred
when U.S. soldiers came under mortar fire and later were targeted
by an RPG attack. No injuries were reported in either attack.
East of Kufah, a platoon-size element of enemy fighters ambushed
a coalition patrol. Two U.S. soldiers were evacuated to the 31st
Combat Support Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. In
Basrah, two attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces that left
an Iraqi police officer wounded.
praised the performance of the 36th ICDC Battalion during recent
combat operations in Fallujah.
He said the
battalion, fighting alongside the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force,
distinguished itself as a "trustworthy and capable"
force, and will serve as a benchmark for other ICDC units.