BALAD, Iraq (April 4, 2008) – Iraqi Security Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, killed seven criminal members and detained 16 others during three separate operations in Basra directed by the Government of Iraq April 3.
Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a suspected Special Groups leader who has been rallying criminal members in Basra to fight against Coalition forces.
Intelligence reports have linked the man to the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi Army and ISOF soldiers. He is also believed to be involved in oil smuggling and foreign fighter networks.
During the operation, ISOF received heavy small-arms fire and two Coalition force vehicles struck improvised explosive devices. One IED temporarily disabled a vehicle while the other IED was ineffective. ISOF killed five armed fighters and detained 10 others during the operation.
Hillah Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics team conducted an operation to deny insurgent operations in Basra. During the operation, the team came under small-arms attack and returned fire while a Coalition force aircraft provided close-air support. Two armed individuals who were firing on ISWAT were killed. Three others we detained.
In a third operation in Basra, an Iraqi Emergency Response Unit captured two suspected members of a criminal cell linked to an ambush attempt against U.S. SF soldiers April 2. Three other suspects are being held for further questioning.