There are no significant follow up reports on the military operations south and west of Baghdad conducted over the past two days. Omar from Iraq The Model provides some detail from Al-Iraqia TV broadcasts. According to Omar, Operation Squeeze Play was executed primarily by Iraqi forces and was highly successful, with the number of insurgents arrested at 450 (note: this could not be verified via an alternative source). The real coup appears to be the penetration of the insurgency by Iraqi Security Forces by the Wolf’s Brigade of the Special Police Commandos.
bq.. According to Al-Iraqia TV, the Wolf brigade’s intelligence elements successfully infiltrated the terrorist groups in the Abu Ghraib region and the information gathered this way paved the way for the latest operation which was done in two waves; the 1st raid was accomplished yesterday while the 2nd one started at 5 in the morning today and has just ended as Al-Iraqia reporter at the scene in Abu Ghraib said.
The successful raids which represent the largest operation performed by Iraqi forces so far had resulted in arresting 450 suspected terrorists. The brigade depended mainly on its intelligence personnel who recognized the suspects’ faces and pointed them out one by one. The Wolf brigade did almost all the job with the multinational forces providing backup when needed.
bq. Among the detainees was an “Amir” i.e. someone who beheaded at least 10 Iraqis. Also it’s believed that the terrorist who lead the latest large attack on the prison in Abu Ghraib was also among those detained.
p. Obviously a good deal of intelligence information available to the Iraqi and Coalition forces executing Squeeze Play. Also, a high degree of operational security was maintained among the Iraqi troops involved. It is highly unlikely an operation this size could net over 450 insurgents while taking no casualties if the insurgents were aware of this assault.
Some of the detainees were not your run-of-the-mill dead end Baathists, local resistance, unemployed Sunnis or advantageous criminals. Al Qaeda operatives were in the company of those captured, as the detention of the head-chopper and the commander of the failed Abu Ghraib mass assault demonstrate.
Last April there were reports that an agent was active within al Qaeda in Iraq’s network, and had provided information that allowed Task Force 626 to come close to nabbing Zarqawi. The Iraqi Special Police Commandos appears to have duplicated this feat.
Iraq is yielding another asset crucial to winning the War on Terror: a friendly Arab intelligence service that is highly motivated to destroy al Qaeda. Iraqi agents, trained in the culture and languages of the Middle East, have a much better chance than Americans at infiltrating al Qaeda’s network and providing valuable intelligence on its membership, communications and operations.
This article in the Telegraph states a “car bomb factory” was discovered; “They found sufficient bombs for 70 cars, a production line if you like,” said Mr Jaafari’s spokesman, Laith Kubba. “It was either the factory or one of the two factories that has caused the carnage in Baghdad.”
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