04 March 2007

7 terrorists dead, 4 hostages freed, anti-aircraft weapons destroyed, and political shakeup announced

Not bad for a day's work.



BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces targeted members of an al-Qaeda in Iraq network Friday during an air strike operation west of Taji.

Intelligence reports indicated that this network is responsible for threats to Coalition aircraft.

Coalition Forces believe key terrorists were killed during the air strike. Results are still being assessed at this time.



BAGHDAD, IRAQ – An assessment performed by Coalition Forces following an air strike in Arab Jabour on Saturday led to the rescue of four Iraqi citizens and the uncovering of a terrorist weapons cache today.

Four Iraqi citizens were liberated from a building near the site of yesterday’s air strike. According to one of the liberated hostages, the terrorists holding them captive fled immediately after the air strike. All four hostages were treated on site for various injuries. One of the hostages said he had been held captive for 50 days.

At the site of the air strike, Ground forces also found remnants of an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun known as a DShK and multiple rocket propelled grenades and grenade launchers. Additionally, a DShK Tripod was found dug in the ground along the Tigris River with spent ammunition cartridges. ...

Coalition Forces used two precision guided bombs in the strike destroying a small structure and killing seven terrorists hiding inside. A large secondary explosion was noted after the initial bombs were dropped on the target, indicating the presence of explosive material within the structure.

Meanwhile, PM Maliki sees the light:

Iraq PM vows Cabinet shakeup in 2 weeks

The prime minister did not say how many Cabinet members would be replaced. But some officials said about nine would lose their jobs, including all six Cabinet members loyal to radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an al-Maliki ally. ...

During the interview, al-Maliki said other top officials would face prosecution for ties to insurgents, sectarian militias and death squads — including members of parliament.

Looks like Mookie would be well-advised to extend his Iranian vacation indefinately.

...pressure for change has mounted since President Bush ordered 21,500 U.S. troops to Iraq last January despite widespread opposition in Congress and among the U.S. public — weary of the nearly four-year-long war....

Al-Maliki said he was encouraged by Iraqi public response to the new Baghdad security operation — which has led to a sharp drop in violence in the capital.

Dare we say the "surge" is working?

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