June 3rd, 2007 06:21 EST
Engaging al-Qaeda in Ameriyah
CAMP LIBERTY " Iraqi security forces and Coalition Soldiers conducted operations against extremists in the western Baghdad district of Ameriyah May 30 to June 1.
In the past several days we have been involved in operations with the Iraqi Army and local nationals against al-Qaeda in Ameriyah, " said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dale Kuehl, commander of 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.
Local residents provided intelligence to 1-5th Cav. Soldiers on a bomb-making cell in the area, which led to a large weapons cache being discovered and two suspected al-Qaeda fighters detained, Kuehl said.
Coalition troops, partnered with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 6th Iraqi Army, uncovered 20 60mm mortar shells, five 120 mm mortar shells and four pipe bombs.
The explosive ordnance disposal team initiated a controlled detonation to remove the material when the cache was deemed dangerous to move.
Ameriyah is one of several areas in Baghdad, including Fadl and Adhamiyah, where the citizens are challenged by al-Qaeda in Iraq, " said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, deputy commanding general for support with the Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
A mosque was also attacked Wednesday when al-Qaeda terrorists opened fire using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
According to Kuehl, 1-5th Cav. came to the aid of the locals at the mosque and have been collecting information as to the whereabouts of insurgents for future operations.
A curfew was set by ISF to disrupt the enemy`s ability to reinforce the area with personnel and munitions.
"The curfew has been in effect in Ameriyah for about 10 days from 8 p.m. to 6
a.m. " said U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Reynolds, the executive officer for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and the parent unit for 1-5th Cavalry in Baghdad.
Ameriyah residents have also reported killing three al-Qaeda extremists in armed clashes in a western Baghdad neighborhood, which shows local citizens are tired of the violence and intimidation by extremist groups, Kuehl said.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is standing in the way of Sunni participation in the government and improving conditions in Iraq, " Brooks said. They`re standing in the way of peace and progress, and this turn of events against al-Qaeda demonstrates that some of the Iraqi people have had enough of their treachery. "
(Compiled from Multi-National Corps-Iraq news release)