January 29th, 2007 03:36 EST
Iraqi-led team finds torture house, weapons
CAMP FALLUJAH — Iraqi Police and Marines completed Operation Three Swords in an area south of Fallujah Tuesday. The purpose of the operation was to detain members of murder and intimidation cells within the rural area of Zaidon and the villages of Albu Hawa, Fuhaylat and Hasa.
It was led by the Iraqi Police with support from the Marines of Regimental Combat Team 6 and Marines and soldiers of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Headquarters Group.
During the operation, members of the Fallujah police Department and Coalition Forces discovered a torture house and rescued three individuals. Two of the hostages were transported and treated at Camp Fallujah. The third hostage was transported by helicopter to Camp Taqqadum for further treatment.
Torture devices were found and confiscated. The house was demolished by Coalition Forces in order to remove the reminder of such violence from the landscape. Also, one of the victims asked that it be destroyed so that no one will ever be taken there and tortured like him.
Additionally, Coalition Forces uncovered numerous weapons caches during the operation. Among the caches, two 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns, high explosive mortar sights, rocket propelled grenade related materials, a sniper rifle with scope and four assault rifles. Two vehicles were also discovered. One was rigged as a car bomb and the other with an anti-aircraft gun mounted. The explosives were destroyed on scene by coalition forces and the weapons were returned to Camp Fallujah.
The Iraqi police and Marines detained 21 individuals suspected of coordinating insurgent attacks against Iraqi security forces or coalition forces.
“This operation was successful in the fact that coalition forces were able to free three hostages and seize weapons used for murder and intimidation away from insurgents,” said Capt. Chip R. Rankin, Company B commanding officer, 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. “The Iraqi police led this mission with confidence and it demonstrated their desire to provide a more secure mindset for the civilians within these areas.”
Our joint operations demonstrate the interoperability of the Marines and the Iraqi police to remind the terrorists that their presence will not be tolerated;” said Coalition spokesperson 1st Lt. Barry L. Edwards.
By Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office