Iraqi Security Forces Conduct Independent Operation, Capture Insurgents

Blackanthem Military News, BAYJI, Iraq, April 01, 2006 11:23


Emergency services units patrol the streets of Bayji Iraq during a sweep of the city that involved more then 400 ESU personnel. The sweep netted 25 suspected insurgents and criminals from throughout the city.

More then 600 Iraqi Security Forces personnel conducted an independent operation throughout the city of Bayji and surrounding villages in northern Salah Ad Din Province in an effort to rid the area of criminals and anti-Iraqi forces.

The operation was one of the first solely planned and executed by ISF personnel. The planning and direction was spearheaded by the Provincial Police Chief Maj. Gen Hamid and other Iraqi Security Forces leadership, with Coalition Forces taking on only a perimeter security role.

The operation kicked off Tuesday morning with Soldiers from the 1/187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division and the 4th Iraqi Army Division providing blocking positions and tactical check points around the outskirts of the city to stop the flow of traffic for the operation. Two elite special police battalions, known as Emergency Services Units, or ESUs, conducted the main portion of the operation along with members of the provincial Iraqi Police Department.

"We came out with the Iraqi Army. We are setting up blocking positions...all the way around Bayji," said 1st Lt. Scott Thornburry of Lubock, Tx., a Platoon Leader for A Co, 1/187th Inf. Regt. "We are allowing the ESU conduct raids within the city and hopefully round up some bad guys."

The ESUs began by searching two villages south of Bayji during the early morning hours and later entered the city. Morning searches detained 16 suspected insurgents and criminals including one former colonel in Saddam Hussein’s Army and three henchmen connected to one of Bayji’s most wanted criminals. Later, the cities of Al Suniyah and Al Suliyah were searched netting 9 more suspected criminals.

1st Lt. David Howald of Alpha Co.1st Battalion 187th Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division and his translator check over a local citizen’s paperwork before letting him through a checkpoint in the city of Bayji.

"As we came in they were everywhere, you couldn’t turn the street without seeing one of these guys [ESU] stopped in a blocking position," said Capt. Michael Starz, Assistant Operations Officer for the 187th Inf. Regt. "[This was] a very effective operation and we are excited to see the results from it. We know that two pretty bad guys that were directly tied to killing four of our soldiers were caught. We have been looking for them since November."

Also during the day, Iraqi Army Soldiers at an Iraqi run checkpoint detained four oil tankers and drivers suspected of hauling black market fuel. They had no documentation on the fuel they were carrying as they attempted to leave the city.

The operation is a significant step towards establishing self-sufficient security operations for the ISF in the Salah Ad Din province. In all, 25 suspected criminals and insurgents were detained and transferred to Tikrit through Iraqi channels for questioning along with the four suspected black market fuel traffickers.

All in all, it was a very successful mission for the ISF and a good day for Coalition Forces according to Starz. "They maintained operational security...they hit time on target exactly... [and] they caught guys they said they were going to catch."

"We are excited to see this kind of progress," added Starz. "ISF running around the battlefield,....[engaging] the enemy, developing their own intelligence, [and] operating like you would expect a country to have its forces operating."


By Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment




1st Lt. David Elliott, Executive Officer of Alpha Co. 1/187th Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division checks on a road block that is manned by Iraqi Army soldiers of the 4th Iraqi Army Division during an ISF Operation to search for insurgents in the city of Bayji.
1st Lt. David Howald and Spc. James Kalkstein both of Alpha Co.,1/187th Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, go over a map showing the area they will be blocking off during an Iraqi Security Forces run operation in the city of Bayji, Iraq.




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