NEWS | May 18, 2008

Iraqi soldiers, police find weapons

By None , 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.

FOB LOYALTY, Iraq (May 19, 2008) – Iraqi army and Iraqi national police partnered together to conduct a multi-day joint operation in the eastern Baghdad district of Karadah to neutralize violent extremists and safeguard their citizens.

In one such operation, IA soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, established the outer cordon while NPs from 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, conducted a search in the southeast Baghdad neighborhood of Zafraniyah. Concurrently, a company of jundi (Iraqi army soldiers) searched adjacent farmland and scattered homes.

“This is a positive sign of increased capability and performance by the Iraqi security Forces,” said Col. Allen Bastchelet, chief of staff, Multi-National Division – Baghdad and the 4th Infantry Division. “This clearly demonstrates the ability of the two forces to work together and is a promise of a brighter future for the Iraqi people.”

The IA and NP team also met with local officials and the school principal in the muhallah to discuss an upcoming toy and school supply distribution operation in the near future.

“The Iraqi army and the national police have worked together in the past but almost exclusively as part of a larger task force,” said Batschelet. “Never, to our knowledge, bi-laterally at the battalion level. This was a demonstration of mutual respect and the Iraqi leadership set the tone.”

In a clear sign of their increasing effectiveness to conduct joint operations, elsewhere, the Iraqi security forces efforts resulted in two found weapons caches and 31 suspects detained in operations May 17.

Policemen with the 1st Battalion, 1st National Police Brigade, seized a large weapons cache while conducting security operations in the Karadah district of Baghdad at approximately 7:40 a.m.

The munitions and weapons seized included two explosive-formed penetrators, two improvised-explosive devices, 96 AK-47 assault rifles, 19 81mm mortar rounds, eight hand grenades and an RPK light machinegun.

Policemen with the Unity Battalion, 2nd National Police Division, with support from Iraqi army soldiers, seized a weapons cache and arrested 31 criminals in the Kadhamiyah district of Baghdad at approximately 6 a.m.

The seized items included documents pertaining to a special groups extremist organization, 16 AK-47s, more than 1,000 7.62mm rounds, 68 AK-47 magazines, an RPK light machinegun, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, three RPG rounds, a 2.5 gallon cooler containing home-made explosives, four British smoke grenades, an American flash-bang grenade, two fragmentation grenades, a night-vision sight for an AK-47, a mortar sight, four bags of mixed ammunition and other various military equipment.

“This operation is indicative of the professionalism, effectiveness and capabilities of the national police. They remain vigilant in getting these terror weapons and criminals off the streets of Baghdad,” said Maj. Joey Sullinger, spokesperson for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. “Insurgents and foreign fighters continue to use explosive devices and weapons in attempts to intimidate, maim and kill innocent Iraqi civilians and their security forces. We will not falter or waiver in our support to Iraq citizens, their security forces and the government of Iraq.”