Insurgents and foreign fighters continue to take a beating on the border. Yesterday, a senior al Qaeda fighter in the region was targeted with precision air strikes while conducting a meeting with other local commanders. Abu Mahmud is described as a Saudi commanding multiple terror cells in Husaybah, with connections to other facilitators in Qaim, Karabilah, and Husaybah. “Mahmud directed, planned and executed a large amount of the foreign fighter attacks on Iraqi security and Coalition forces, to include most SVBIED and IED attacks. He was also personally active in direct attacks against Iraqi and Coalition forces.” Two other safe houses were destroyed in the strikes.
Today, based on tips from citizens in Husaybah, ten foreign fighters were killed after Coalition forces conducted raids on suspected safe houses. CENTCOM describes the series of raids in Husaybah.
While Coalition Forces were leaving the area, they were alerted to another suspected terrorist house with fortified fighting positions. After further investigation, Coalition Forces called in an air strike, destroying the terrorist stronghold with precision guided munitions.
Note how multiple targets were struck simultaneously, and the last safe house was engaged even though the target was not known prior to the operation. This indicates the intelligence was solid, and the final strike on the unknown safe house was discovered after either the insurgents engaged Coalition forces as they were conducting operations, or further tips from citizens exposed the terrorist’s location.
The Marines fighting on the border clearly have solid intelligence sources and a measure of local support, and the resources to conduct sustained operations in the region. And the Iraqi troops haven’t even made their presence felt in this area.
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