Coalition Forces destroyed a torture room, a large cache of weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials Sunday morning while targeting terrorists in Sadr City.
Coalition Forces targeted the location based on intelligence reports that indicated the presence of suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.
During a search of the objective, Coalition Forces found a torture room and cache of over 150 mortar rounds, ammunition and IED-making materials.
Because the explosive nature and instability of the materials, Coalition Forces cordoned off the area and an explosive ordnance team detonated the materials in place.
When ground forces initially approached buildings at the targeted location, they began receiving heavy small arms fire, including rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, from one of the buildings. Coalition Forces, using appropriate self-defense measures, returned fire.
Four more armed men engaged Coalition Forces from behind a vehicle, which was struck when Coalition Forces returned fire, reacting to the hostile actions with appropriate self-defense measures and fired on it. The vehicle was destroyed.
Despite efforts to subdue the armed terrorists, Coalition Forces continued to receive enemy fire. Coalition Forces used actions to react to the perceived threat in self-defense and called for close air support to suppress the armed terrorists who were firing rocket propelled grenades.
Coalition Forces estimate eight to 10 armed individuals were killed during the exchange of fire during the operation.
Intelligence reports indicate that the secret cell has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq as well as interactions with rogue elements throughout Iraq and into Iran.
“Coalition Forces continue to target terrorists who use torture, improvised explosives devices, and facilitate the training of those who would use the same methods,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “We continue to strike at the networks around Iraq that disregard the safety of all Iraqis.”