Coalition forces disrupt senior al-Qaeda operations; 25 killed, 21 detained
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Coalition forces killed 25 suspected terrorists and detained 21 suspects, four of whom were wounded, late Tuesday and early Wednesday during operations targeting senior terrorist leaders in central Iraq.
During a series of coordinated operations west of Tarmiyah, Coalition forces targeted associates of senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders believed to be in the area.
Coalition forces observed several armed men in the target area and, perceiving hostile intent, called for supporting aircraft to engage.
The supporting aircraft fired on the target, but intelligence reports indicated the men unloaded an anti-aircraft weapon from the target and moved to a secondary location.
The ground force engaged the armed men, killing one, wounding another and detaining one suspect.
Upon securing the area, the ground force found a weapons cache, to include anti-aircraft weapons and artillery.
Supporting aircraft was used to safely destroy an associated building, vehicle and site believed to be used for anti-aircraft attacks against Coalition forces.
The ground force also followed suspects from the initial meeting to several buildings in the area.
As Coalition forces approached the target areas, they were engaged by enemy fire from both locations.
Responding in self-defense, ground forces called for supporting aircraft to engage, killing 24 and wounding three.
As the ground forces secured the areas, they found two substantially large weapons caches, which were safely destroyed by supporting aircraft to prevent further use by terrorists.
The caches included numerous anti-aircraft machine guns, surface-to-surface missiles, rifles, pistols, grenades, mortar rounds and artillery shells.
Coalition forces also found a large quantity of ammunition and components used to manufacture improvised explosive devices.
Coalition forces also detained 16 suspects at the two locations.
All of the injured received immediate medical treatment on site by Coalition forces medical experts and were taken to a near-by military medical facility for further treatment.
"Al-Qaeda is being hit continually by Iraqi and Coalition Forces, so their networks are disrupted and their manpower pool diminishing, thus limiting their ability to strike innocent Iraqis," said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman.