The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Taking the offense against the Shiites
The Karbala raid targeted the leader of "a rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi [JAM or Mahdi Army] assassination cell of over 100 armed members," Multinational Forces Iraq reported. The cell leader attacked Coalition forces with roadside bombs, mortars, and the deadly, armor-piercing, Iranian-supplied explosively formed penetrators. The cell was responsible for the assassination of two Iraqi government officials and several civilians.
The cell leader and two other suspects were captured, but the Iraqi and U.S. raiding force was attacked by Mahdi Army fighters with RPGs and machineguns. Five Mahdi Army fighters were killed in the gun battle, and another 12 were killed in a follow up airstrike.
Coalition forces also captured four members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups terror cells during a raid in the village of Qasarin in Diyala. The raid targeted a senior leader of a Special Groups smuggling cell. "The captured terrorists are suspected of facilitating the transport of weapons and personnel from Iran into Iraq," including explosively formed penetrators.
On July 26, the Iraqi Army captured a Mahdi Army cell leader in the Bayaa neighborhood in Baghdad. "The primary suspect is believed to command a rogue JAM improvised explosive device cell that is allegedly responsible for attacks on Coalition Forces," the Multinational Forces Iraq press release stated. "He is also alleged to have received financial support and explosively formed penetrators from Iran, which were distributed to other JAM cell members in the Bayaa and Aamel areas of Baghdad."