Operation Bruins ends after weapons caches are found
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers have wrapped up a short operation aimed at disrupting insurgents in the western city of Ramadi, officials said Tuesday.
Dubbed Operation Bruins — or hibbah, in Arabic — the action lasted a little more than 24 hours and was focused on the northern part of the city, which is the capital of restive Anbar province.
The combined force found “several” weapons caches during the sweep, according to a Marine Corps release, but no arrests were reported.
The caches included plastic explosives, artillery and mortar shells, fuses and detonators — both remote-control and pressure-sensitive — used in roadside bombs. The amount of explosives and detonators were enough to build “hundreds” of makeshift devices, officials said.
In addition, the caches contained 21 rocket launchers, 43 rocket-propelled grenades, 23 medium machine guns, three sniper rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
“Thirty-two black ski masks were also found in this cache,” the Marine release read.
Some 150 Iraqi troops, along with 300 U.S. Marines and soldiers under the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, took part in the operation. U.S. officials have said that attacks in the city have decreased by 60 percent “in the last few weeks.”
During the operation, one Marine patrol was attacked with a roadside bomb; no injuries were reported. Another patrol was attacked when someone fired a single rocket-propelled grenade at it, instead hitting part of a mosque. No injuries were reported in that incident either.
Military officials also announced Tuesday the death of a soldier who was conducting operations near Habbaniyah, a city near Ramadi. The soldier, whose name and unit were being withheld until notification of his family, was killed Monday when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, officials said.