Iraqis take lead in Operation Awakening Eyes II

The sooner Iraqi security forces stand up, the sooner US forces can redeploy. Find posters, art prints and greeting cards for your military loved ones at our own patriotic art gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/TEAMultimedia/830194

About 600 Iraqi Soldiers conducted a series of raids to disrupt insurgent activity within the Golden Hills region south of Baghdad Thursday.

Soldiers of the 31st Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division led Operation Awakening Eyes II and worked with Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division to arrest 38 and detain six suspected criminals for further processing.

The IA developed the mission based on intelligence from IA informants. The six detained are accused of killing and attacking Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces and were on the ISF wanted list, said Brig. Gen. Adul Amir, commander of the 31st Bde. Some of the detainees are not from the area; they came from other areas and sheltered themselves here.

“We collected intelligence information from all the sources who lived in this area,” said Adul Amir. “We wanted to prove to the people here that the Coalition forces along with the ISF are still here, and we’re watching and observing the situation and the bad people in the area. It was a very coordinated strike and it proved that Coalition forces and the ISF are doing operations together.”

Soldiers also discovered several weapons, ammunition and materials for making improvised explosive devices during the operation, which focused on five different objectives.

“It was a really good success in that they had actual intel and they took the time to develop the plan-historically there has been a drive amongst our IA counterparts that once they get some information, they want to show action so they act on it immediately,” said Maj. Matthew Crystal, commander of 0840 Military Transition Team, which is attached to 1-76th Field Artillery

The IA developed a detailed plan, used their recon platoons to collect intelligence during the (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) phase, used the forces available to their strengths and did a rehearsal-type back brief for this operation, said Crystal, a native of Fort Scott, Kan.

“So even if we hadn’t rolled anybody up it was still a success from the beginning,” he said.

Tami Hillis (ANS)

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