On May 17, acting from tips by Iraqi citizens, Coalition Forces raided a safe house in Ramadi. In the process, they destroyed a shop that was converting stolen cars into IEDs. Among the ordnance confiscated were machine guns, riles, artillery rounds, bomb making materials, rocket propelled grenades, and a suicide vest.
The troops took fire as they approached. They killed six terrorists in the ensuing battle, and detained three. They also found, and freed, a kidnapped 8-year-old child, who was being held as a menial by the group.
A couple days later, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team Task Force Band of Brothers got a tip from a citizen of Bayji that an insurgent was conducting operations from a house in that town. After a “cordon and knock” of the suspect residence, the soldiers captured the insurgent. They found 2 AK’s, one submachine gun, a hundred rounds of ammo, and IED-making materials. They also found the suspect’s fake I.D., and his “last will and testament,” declaring his mission as a suicide bomber.
These tactical successes go on day after day in Iraq. The only thing that has changed is their frequency.
As the insurgents have turned their guns and bombs increasingly on ordinary citizens, those citizens have turned their attentions increasingly on their tormentors.
“What we’re finding,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell at his May 18th press briefing, “is that when we go out and act on a tip, almost 70 percent actually have something there.”
There have been 6,600 such tips in Baghdad alone since the beginning of the year.
Commenting on the 1,300 tip rise from March-to-April, 2006, Maj. Gen. Caldwell said, “I think you’re seeing a rise because the Iraqi people… are very tired of the violence…[T]hey realize there is somebody now who will respond and take some kind of action.”