Aug 20 2007

Iraqis Continue To Turn In al-Qaeda Members

Published by at 6:46 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

The latest ‘tip’ from fed up Iraqis, who have determined to fight al-Qaeda instead of provide them support and sanctuary within their midsts, has netted a large number of al-Qaeda members attending what must have been a serious gathering given the numbers:

raqi Security Forces and 8th Iraqi Army Scouts, with U.S. Special Forces as advisers, detained 31 suspected terrorists in Sayafiyah during an alleged meeting of an al-Qaeda in Iraq cell Aug. 17.

Local citizens prompted the operation by reporting that Sayafiyah was a safe haven for many Sunni insurgents. The individuals targeted during this raid have been connected to multiple improvised explosive device attacks, weapons smuggling, kidnapping, extra judicial killings and are believed to be responsible for the displacement of hundreds of Shiites.

No wonder the local Iraqis decided to turn these thugs into authorities. And we are now at the ‘mop up’ stage where we can isolate, surround and take out the remnant pockets of al-Qaeda, who are not welcome in Iraq and cannot rely on the local populace to hide them:

Iraqi and Coalition forces are pursuing extremist leaders in Iraq’s remote areas in coordinated “quick strikes” launched this week, the commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq told Pentagon reporters Saturday.
Operation Phantom Strike is a series of joint operations that extend from Operation Phantom Thunder, a corps-level offensive that began in June targeting al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiia extremists in, near and around Baghdad, said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.

“With the elimination of safe havens and support zones due to Phantom Thunder, al-Qaeda and Shiite extremists have been forced into ever-shrinking areas. It is my intent to pursue and disrupt their operations,” Odierno said.

Over the coming weeks, the general said, combined forces will conduct quick-strike raids against extremist sanctuaries and staging areas. Using precision-targeting operations, troops will target terrorist leaders and members of lethal improvised-explosive-device and car-bomb networks, he said.

It is no big secret how these staging areas and sanctuaries are known or can be found. When the Iraqi Muslim street rose up against al-Qaeda, because of al-Qaeda’s bloody brutaliy, this war was over. It was only a matter of time. Without local support the insurgency cannot cover its activities and movements. Every finger in Iraq is pointing at the bad guys now as they move around. Here is one of many examples:

Local citizens fed tips to Soldiers from the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, which led to the finding of four weapons caches and the detaining of two suspects in multiple operations north of Baghdad, Aug. 8 and 9.

Troops from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 1st BCT, acting on a tip from a neighborhood watch volunteer, uncovered an improvised explosive devices cache near the town of Sab Al Bor, Aug 8.

The cache included five complete IEDs and 12 incomplete IEDs. The cache also included 20 munitions of varying sizes, 100 pounds of homemade explosive, one can of nitric acid, some command wire as well as the tools necessary to manufacture IEDs.

The same day acting on a tip from a volunteer, Soldiers of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, also of 1st BCT, found a 100 millimeter projectile, 10 80mm mortars, six IED timers, two rocket-propelled grenades and an accompanying booster.

In two separate incidents also involving information garnered from volunteer sources, Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, working with their Iraqi counterparts from the 3rd Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division (Mechanized), unearthed two caches and detained two suspects.

The tide has turned in Iraq. It seems only al-Qaeda and the Surrendercrats (aka Democrats) and the SurrenderMedia are the last to figure it out.

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