Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good News from Iraq: 22 Dec 2007

From MNF-I, Iraqi Police uncover major weapons cache (Kirkuk).

KIRKUK, Iraq – Iraqi Police uncovered a major weapons cache in the Kirkuk province of Iraq Dec. 18. The discovery was made during a series of pre-dawn raids at suspected cache sites.

Iraqi Police led the operation in the town of Ruwadah, approximately 25 miles west of Kirkuk City. The operation was named “Kura Azakan” (The Brave Men) by General Sarhadt, outer Hawijah district police chief, because Coalition Forces and Iraqi Police had not been in the area recently and because the Iraqi Police had gone in without Coalition presence.

More than 300 Iraqi Police officers from Dibbis, Sagaron, Tarkalan, Altun Kopri and Schawn took part in the operation, which was conducted using 32 Iraqi Police vehicles. At one of the sites, Iraqi Police discovered one of the largest caches in recent Kirkuk province history.

Included in the cache were approximately: 65 grenades, 83 rocket propelled grenades, 1,800 fuses, 1,060 mortar rounds, 250 various explosive projectiles, 3,000 small-arms rounds, 1,400 20 mm cannon rounds, and more than 1,000 pounds of explosives and improvised explosive device-making material.

Coalition Forces from Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment and Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, along with explosives ordnance disposal team members, were called in to safely dispose of the ordnance. In an extensive combined operation, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces conducted a 13-hour clearing operation which resulted in the destruction of the more than 7 tons of deadly ordnance.

“This is another example of the growing capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces to conduct independent operations and was a result of a lot of hard work from brave Iraqis,” said Col. David Pashcal, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division commander. “The discovery and destruction of this cache will seriously disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct attacks on innocent Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces.”