Coalition forces kill insurgents caught firing anti-aircraft guns
May 12, 2007
U.S. military officials in Baghdad said Friday that coalition forces killed an estimated 10 to 14 insurgents and captured eight others Tuesday after they were spotted firing a truck-mounted anti-aircraft gun at a farmhouse northeast of Karmah.
The military said intelligence reports and surveillance of a known al-Qaida in Iraq meeting spot led troops to discover three trucks, two of which were mounted with anti-aircraft artillery weapons. The vehicles were followed, and after the insurgents started firing the guns at two houses, it was determined that they were practicing for possible future attacks against coalition troops, according to a Multi-National Forces-Iraq news release.
After the session was over and the vehicles were away from any potential civilian casualties, a fixed wing aircraft was called in to destroy them. One truck with an anti-aircraft gun and two cars traveling with the truck were destroyed.
The two other trucks fled in different directions, but also were followed. The two vehicles were both destroyed in a separate airstrike after the occupants abandoned them and fled.
Troops followed a third vehicle until it stopped at a building, which was raided later that night. Eight suspects were captured in the raid, and one was treated for shrapnel wounds he received during the airstrike earlier in the evening.
A grainy video clip, posted on the MNF-I Web site, shows two trucks parked in a rural desert area. The video, apparently shot from an aircraft circling overhead, shows one of the truck-mounted guns firing at what appears to be an empty farm compound several hundred meters away.
At just over a minute of footage, a guided bomb comes streaking in from the upper left-hand corner of the video. A large explosion occurs. The strike is then shown from a second, much closer angle.
After a brief editing break, the video shows another airstrike destroying the second gun truck.
The raid that captured the eight suspects was not shown.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an MNFI spokesman, said the airstrikes caused “significant damage and disruption to an organized anti-aircraft cell in Anbar province … and diminishes al Qaida’s ability to target security forces protecting the people of Iraq.”