Coalition forces take down al Qaeda camps in the rural areas of Anbar
As the Iraqi government rebounds from the rise in sectarian violence in the wake of the bombing of the Alaskari Mosque, Iraqi and Coalition forces continue the hunt for al Qaeda. A series of raids in Anbar province has put a bomb making facility, ammunition caches and over sixty al Qaeda operatives out of business. The Multinational Forces Iraq press release provides the details:
CF [Coalition Forces] captured 61 suspected AQIZ facilitators in multiple raids 30 miles northeast of Fallujah[note, I suspect he meant northwest, as 30 miles northeast of Fallujah is the Baghdad suburbs]. The suspects are believed to be members of the Zarqawi network, and to have personally facilitated suicide bombers, foreign fighters and the funding of terrorist activities. Five AQIZ safe houses were destroyed during the operation. Coalition Forces also uncovered a large number of weapons and ammunition caches which they destroyed in place. Of the 61 suspects, four are considered key AQIZ facilitators.
The location of this operation is the Jazerra region which lies directly north of Ramadi and Habbaniyah (or about 30 miles northwest of Fallujah), and has been the subject of Iraqi Army operations in the recent past. The Iraqi Army and Coalition forces launched Spider Web on January 4, 2006, and the Iraqi Army independently conducted Final Strike on January 30, 2006.
The region is a “known insurgent staging area for attacks against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces.” Captain Jeffrey Pool informed me during Final Strike that “this area is where a lot of ex Baathists and military retired,” and that the Iraqi Army was just beginning to make inroads into the area after a year of neglect.
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