BAGHDAD — U.S. and Iraqi forces have carried out some 1,600 patrols and 700 road checkpoint operations in the days since the constitutional referendum, officials said Thursday.
Iraqi forces undertook about 1,000 of the missions on their own, officials said to highlight the training and fielding of local security forces. Another 100 of the raids included both U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, who have been operating in tandem for months.
In one incident, U.S. soldiers found a pickup truck in south Baghdad loaded with 600 sticks of commercial explosives. Nearby, Task Force Baghdad soldiers discovered a 250-pound aerial bomb rigged with detonation cord, apparently being readied for use as a roadside bomb. As teams worked to defuse that bomb, they found another, this one composed of 125 mm and 120 mm artillery rounds wired together.
Both bombs were destroyed in place by explosive ordnance disposal teams, officials said.
Joint forces undertook more than 40 raids and searches in Baghdad in the two days after the referendum.
“One of the largest combat operations was carried out by Iraqi soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division Oct. 18. Just after midnight, Iraqi Army Soldiers captured five terror suspects during a raid against a safe-house in the Adhamiyah district,” a U.S. Army release read.
“Many of the operations were based on tips from Iraqi citizens tired of terrorist violence in their neighborhoods.”
In one of those instances, officials said, a resident’s tip led to the capture of a man they called a “suspected weapons dealer and terrorist organization financier.”
Officials said a separate tip led soldiers of the U.S. 48th Brigade Combat Team to a weapons cache containing 103 high-explosive rounds, 151 mortar rounds, six mortar tubes and 31 mortar fuses.
The cache also contained two anti-tank weapons, an anti-aircraft machine gun, 10 sticks of dynamite, 25 grenades, one machine gun, four rifles, sniper scopes, a silencer, 8,000 rounds of ammunition and bomb-making materials.
Three men were arrested, officials said.