Task Force 145 appears to have been busy over the weekend. In conjunction with the raid in Yusifiyah, which killed 25 al Qaeda and resulted in the downing of a Coalition helicopter and the death of two U.S. Soldiers, TF-145 struck near the town of Latifiyah. Multinational Forces – Iraq reports 15 al Qaeda were killed and 8 captured during series of raids over the course of two days on May 13-14.
Abu Mustafa, an al Qaeda cell leader wanted for leading the cell which downed a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter, was among those killed. “Abu Mustafa was also a known weapons smuggler who allegedly facilitated the movement of missiles and rockets within the al-Qaida terrorist network,” according to the Multinational Forces – Iraq press release.
A reading of the press release shows the importance of good intelligence combined with the swift exploitation of intelligence gained from current operations. Four raids were carried out, the first resulting in the death of Abu Mustafa and an “an unknown affiliate.” One day later, three more raids resulted in the death of 14 additional al Qaeda members and the capture of four others.
The area directly south of Baghdad, known as “The Triangle of Death,” appears to be an operational staging area for al Qaeda’s assault on Baghdad, and has now resulted in the death and capture of hundreds of al Qaeda over the past few months. Task Force 145 has some good intelligence and is taking advantage of it, disrupting and destroying al Qaeda cells on a regular basis.
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