CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq – Iraqi Army Soldiers and Marines, Soldiers and Sailors with Regimental Combat Team – 2 are in the final phases of clearing operations in the border town of Karabilah.
The goals of Operation al Hajip Elfulathi (Steel Curtain) are to restore Iraqi sovereign control along the Iraq-Syria border and destroy the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating throughout the al Qaim region.
The Iraqi Army Soldiers and Marines began Nov. 5 by cordoning Husaybah and began clearing the city from west to east. The force then cleared through approximately two kilometers of desert before reaching and clearing the town of Karabilah.
Some terrorists were reported to have fled from Husaybah into nearby Karabilah. When the Iraqi Soldiers and Marines entered Karabilah Nov. 9 they found the al Qaeda in Iraq-led terrorists had hidden IEDs throughout the city, slowing but not stopping the clearing operations.
Since the beginning of clearing operations in Karabilah, 19 IEDs, three homes booby-trapped with explosives and one vehicle car bomb have been discovered, but only one small arms attack was conducted against Iraqi Army Soldiers and Marines.
Iraqi Soldiers quickly established a safe area for residents at the outset of the operation. Food, lodging, medical care and security from the terrorist violence was offered to the local residents until it was safe for them to return to their homes.
Iraqi and U.S. forces are establishing bases within the two cities. This presence will provide stability and reduce terrorist influence in the al Qaim region.
The offensive is part of the larger Operation Sayaid (Hunter), designed to prevent al Qaeda in Iraq from operating in the Euphrates River Valley and throughout al Anbar and to establish a permanent Iraqi Army presence in the al Qaim region.
Initial story: Operation Steel Curtain Launched by U.S. and Iraqi Forces and links to all the updates we have.
Source: Multi-National Force-Iraq