US And Iraqi Forces Launch Air Assault Against Insurgents

16 03 2006

Via FoxNews

The assault, which is the largest since U.S. forces invaded in 2003, was launched in the southern Salah Ad Din province to clear a suspected insurgent operating area southeast of Samarra. The operation, which began Thursday morning, is expected to continue for several days.

Coalition forces have dubbed the assault “Operation Swarmer,” which is an operation consisting of about 1,500 soldiers in all, including the Iraqi Army’s 1st Brigade, 4th Division, the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. The assault is a combination of air and ground operations involving more than 200 tactical vehicles and more than 50 aircraft also participated in the operation.

According to the Coalition Press Information Center, initial reports indicate that a number of enemy weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms.

UPDATE Friday, 9:30 am

Via FoxNews

Heliborne U.S. and Iraqi troops pressed their sweep through a 100-square-mile swath of central Iraq on Friday in a bid to break up a center of insurgent resistance, the U.S. military said. No resistance or casualties were reported.

“We believe we achieved tactical surprise,” Lt. Col. Edward Loomis, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division, said of the day-old Operation Swarmer, the biggest air assault here in three years. He said about 40 suspects were detained, 10 of whom were later released.

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