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Published:October 17th, 2007 10:46 EST

Operation Gecko III B establishes another foothold against extremists

By SOP newswire

Operation Gecko III B establishes another foothold against extremists

Sgt. Marcus Butler, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
Multi-National Division – Center PAO

ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq – Coalition Forces and concerned citizens from Jurf as Sakhr began to move north in the Euphrates River Valley Oct. 7, establishing another foothold against extremists in Operation Gecko III B.

Operation Gecko III B aims to open lines of communication between concerned citizens, establish checkpoints and deny sanctuary in the area.

Paratroopers from Companies A and B, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, conducted vehicle and dismounted patrols as they cleared roads and surrounding areas of any threats to Coalition Forces, Iraqi Security Forces or the concerned citizens.

During OP Gecko III B, the paratroopers were met with opposition ranging from roadside bombs to small-arms firefights.

Day two of the operation brought Company A, 1-501st PIR, calling for precision air strikes to destroy an enemy fighting position.

After reaching the designated target location, Company B set up security to hold the area for establishment of an observation post.

In the opening days of OP Gecko IIIB there have been five IEDs found, one air strike and 6 small-arms engagements.

More than 12 square kilometers of the Euphrates River Valley have been cleared during the operation.

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