CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division spearheaded their second independent operation yesterday.
Iraqi soldiers led a security presence and sweeping operation today in the village of Subiyhat to clear the area of insurgents and interact with the populace.
Subiyhat is a small village located in rural, eastern Al Anbar Province, home to more than 2,000 citizens in the vicinity of Fallujah.
Operation Tawakalna Ala Allah, (Trust in God) was the unit’s second battalion-sized operation in the Al Anbar Province planned and conducted by the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade leadership.
Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team – 8 assisted in the operation by providing security on the outer perimeter.
The operation resulted in the detention of four suspected insurgents and enhanced relations between the citizens of Subiyhat and the Iraqi Army.
“I want the people in this area to understand that we are here for their protection and we are here to stay,” said Col. Najim Abdullah Menahi Salmon, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade. “I am very proud of the way my soldiers operated today…our mission was a success.”
The operation involved three Iraqi army companies from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade which patrolled the village. Two additional Marine companies from 1st Battalion manned the outer security cordon.
The primary goals for the Iraqi soldiers were to meet with locals and search for illegal weapons. They also distributed leaflets with the battalion’s tips line phone number so residents can report insurgent activity.
In addition, the soldiers passed out several dozen Iraqi national flags while interacting with the villagers.
“The national flags are popular because it gives the people pride to receive the Iraqi flag from the soldiers of the Iraqi army,” Najim said. “I plan to build on our success today and increase these types of operations in the future.”
The Marine commander supporting the operation also considered the day’s efforts a success.
“My number one priority during this deployment is to facilitate the development of the Iraqi army capabilities,” said Lt. Col. David J. Furness, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. “The more [the Iraqi Army] operates, the more confident they become in their abilities, and the more eager they become to assume responsibility for security.”
Iraq’s 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade assumed their current battle space from the U.S Marine’s 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Feb. 1.
This operation was the next step in the progression of this unit gaining complete operational independence in this area of operations, Furness said.
The 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division is partnered with Regimental Combat Team 8, under the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.