Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good News From Iraq

From MNF-I, Tips lead to arrests in Salman Pak.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – After receiving tips, Coalition Forces detained three people in Salman Pak Oct. 11 during Operation Belleau Wood, a raid to find insurgents linked to al-Qaeda cells operating in Iraq.

Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, detained the men after they were identified as al-Qaeda members responsible for improvised explosive device placement along a road frequently used by the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The Soldiers also cleared 13 houses during their search.

Maj. John Cushing, the 1-15th Inf. Regt. Operations officer from Rochester, Mich., believes the recent organization of Concerned Local Citizens in the Salman Pak area has helped residents feel safer, and therefore more likely to come forward to identify insurgents and their activities.

“Local Iraqi sheiks, in very dangerous areas, are coming forward and are willing to provide critical information concerning extremist activities in our area of operations,” Cushing said. “Local sheiks and Coalition Forces are working together and doing what it takes to improve security in insurgent-infested neighborhoods.”

“Belleau Wood was great for Hardrock (Company A) and 1-15,” Cushing continued. “As a result of this operation, three extremists were detained which further disrupted an IED cell along a major route that Coalition Forces travel each day.”

The 1-15 Inf. Regt., is assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.

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