Operation Iron Fist is in its sixth day, and Marines continue to engage the enemy in the region between Sada and Karabilah. Twenty nine terrorists are confirmed killed in three separate engagements. Two were killed by M1A1 Abrams tanks supporting infantry and seven were killed by “aviation assets” – likely F/A-18 fighter bombers armed with 500 pound GPS or laser guided bombs – when they buildings they were firing from were destroyed.
To the west, in Husaybah, twenty terrorists were confirmed killed when four bombs were dropped on an abandoned hotel being used as a weapons depot and base of operations. Seventy-five terrorists are reported to have been killed during six days of fighting.
The Belmont Club has posted photographs from Iron Fist.
Operation River Gate is in its third day. Iraqi Army and U.S. Marines continue to work to clear the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana. The region is littered with weapons dumps and improvised explosive devices. Ten IEDs hav ebeen discovered so far.
In Haqlaniyah and Haditha, Coalition troops uncovered two caches “consisting of more than 40 mortar and artillery rounds, two complete mortar systems, small-arms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.” The terrorists continue to violate the laws of war, and use places of worship to store weapons and conduct attacks.
Iraqi Security Forces and Marines were attacked with a roadside bomb in Haditha late this afternoon. Examination of the blast site revealed electrical wiring leading to Qaryat Al Khadfah mosque. Iraqi Soldiers and Marines discovered the initiating device for the explosive inside the mosque. In addition, numerous artillery rounds, pre-wired and ready to use as roadside bombs, were hidden on the mosque grounds. No Iraqi Soldiers or Marines were injured by the bomb’s blast.
Seven terrorists have been reported killed and over 170 captured as of yesterday. Five Marines and soldiers have been reported killed in the three days of operations.
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