American and Iraqi special forces teams conducted a series of raids late last week that resulted in the arrests of several insurgents suspected of attacks on U.S. troops and armed civilian groups that have aligned themselves with the U.S. military.
According to U.S. officials, three different operations were conducted on March 13 resulting in the capture of “suspected leaders” of three different insurgent cells operating in and around Balad.
“In Baghdad, [Iraqi forces] captured a suspected terrorist and major cell leader allegedly responsible for improvised explosive device and mortar attacks, hijacking, car theft, kidnapping, murder, and assassination in the area surrounding LSA Anaconda,” a news release read.
In Balad, the teams detained the suspected leader of a 15- to 20-man cell suspected of attacks against coalition forces and so-called “Sons of Iraq,” the groups paid by the U.S. military to guard neighborhoods and checkpoints.
“Specifically, the [cell] is believed to be responsible for IED, mortar, and sniper attacks in the vicinity of Balad and LSA Anaconda,” the release read.
Also near Balad, troops detained the suspected leader of a roadside bomb cell operating near LSA Anaconda.
“The individual is allegedly also part of a larger terrorist network that conducts mortar attacks against the base,” officials said.