View Full Version : Large Air Assault in Iraq

03-16-2006, 03:54 PM
16 March Associated Press - US Says Launches Biggest Air Assault in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/16/AR2006031600749.html).

The U.S. military said on Thursday it had launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

A military statement said the operation involving more than 50 aircraft and 1,500 Iraqi and U.S. troops as well as 200 tactical vehicles targeted suspected insurgents operating near the town of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

The statement said "Operation Swarmer" was launched on Thursday morning and is "expected to continue for several days as a thorough search of the objective area is conducted."...

03-17-2006, 09:09 AM
16 March Voice of America - More Than 30 Suspected Insurgents Captured in Major Operation in Iraq (http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-03-16-voa31.cfm).

U.S. and Iraqi forces captured more than 30 suspected insurgents and found at least six major caches of weapons near the town of Samarra on Thursday, during the first day of what the U.S. military says is the largest air assault operation since the early weeks of the war. A military spokesman says more than half the troops were Iraqi, bringing the combat operations of the new Iraqi Army to a new level.

A spokesman for the U.S. 101st Airborne Division says troops found artillery shells, explosives and material for making the insurgency's deadliest weapons - roadside bombs. Major Tom Bryant says the troops also found instruction manuals for how to make the bombs, as well as medical supplies and military uniforms that insurgents could have used to gain access to restricted areas.

The major says the troops went into the area on U.S. helicopters with gunships in support, but no airborne weapons were fired. Major Bryant says the operation brought cooperation between U.S. and Iraqi forces to a new level.

"Conducting a combined air assault operation is a very complex, difficult thing to do, and they have performed extremely well," said Major Bryant. "The Iraqi Army soldiers were inside the same aircraft, side-by-side with our troops as they assaulted the objectives. Basically, we landed the aircraft right near a number of the objective areas, quickly exited the aircraft and secured the areas. So they performed the exact same role in the air assault as our troops did."...