An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Iraqi Army conducts independent operation, tips lead to weapons cache
Multi-National Division â€“ North PAO
KIRKUK, Iraq â€“ An independent operation conducted by the Iraqi Army brigade responsible for Kirkuk province resulted in the discovery of a makeshift bunker housing a significant weapons cache near the village of Riyadh, 52 kilometers southwest of the provincial capital, July 22.
â€œOperation Iraqi Home Protector,â€ the first independent mission by the 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division began early Saturday morning and consisted of a series of cordon and searches of villages south of Kirkuk in northern Salah ad Din Province and continued the next day into western Kirkuk province.
Near the village of Riyadh, Iraqi Army scouts discovered a small bunker underneath a home and seized at least two rockets, 35 mortar rounds, 3 weapons, miscellaneous explosive ordnance and key components used to make improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. Also recovered from the site were anti-Iraqi forces training materials, documents and records of insurgent activity.
Operation Iraqi Home Protector is significant as it marks the first mission planned and conducted entirely by the 2/4 IA brigade. The operation spanned more than 48 hours and involved four battalions working under their parent brigade, and two additional battalions from a sister brigade based in Sulaimaniya. A quick reaction force from the 4th Iraqi Army Division augmented the brigadeâ€™s operations during the first dayâ€™s mission through villages south of Kirkuk along the roads from Tuz to Tikrit and Tuz to Bayji, just inside the northern Salah Ad Din province.
Operations conducted the second day by the Iraqi Army brigade focused on villages along the Kirkuk to Bayji road west through the province near the village of Riyahd.
The find is expected to impact insurgent operations in the area and their ability to conduct attacks on Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces.
â€œThe recovery of the cache, destruction of its contents and the exploitation of the documents found will disrupt insurgent activity in that area of the province,â€ said Myers â€œ[The discovery] provides the residents tangible proof that the Iraqi Security Forces can provide for their safety effectively,â€ he added.
â€œOverall, this was the first independent IA operation in the history of the [area],â€ said Maj. Eric Schourek, commander for the MiTT that monitors the 2nd IA brigade. â€œIt was the best executed of the five IA brigade level operations Iâ€™ve participated in.â€
Throughout Operation Home Protector, Iraqi commanders conducted meetings with village leadership to discuss security concerns in their neighborhoods. Iraqi Soldiers also took the opportunity to interact with children in the villages to deliver school supplies and build an increasing trust and respect for the security forces.