WASHINGTON -- U.S. military and Iraqi security forces stepped up offensive operations against insurgent strongholds in Fallujah overnight by attacking several fortified fighting positions in the city.
Marines with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, with the help of Air Force bombers using precision-guided munitions, destroyed several barricaded positions in the northeastern part of the city. A second offensive operation by the Air Force and Marine Corps targeted insurgent barricades in the southeast. During both operations, several "known" anti-Iraqi fighting positions were destroyed, military officials said.
Military officials in Baghdad also reported today that several weapons stockpiles were recovered and destroyed this week.
On Nov. 3, 1st Infantry Division soldiers and Iraqi National Guardsmen found two weapons hideouts near Duluiyah. Weapons found included a 30-caliber machine gun, three rocket-propelled grenade rounds, 16 60 mm mortars, three 4.2-inch rockets, 21 107 mm rockets, two mines, 70 blocks of plastic explosives, one bag of propellant and an assortment of grenades and ammunition. Iraqi National Guardsmen discovered a weapons cache nearby containing 9,000 rounds. The weapons and munitions were taken to a Multinational Force Iraq facility for disposal.
Since Nov. 1, military officials report that Multinational forces in western Iraq have recovered and destroyed 129 mortars, 39 artillery shells, 37 RPGs, 12 rockets, seven mines, 126 detonators, 350 electronic timers, 16 blasting caps, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Elsewhere in Iraq, an attack by anti-Iraqi forces was foiled when a 1st Infantry Division patrol engaged a vehicle loaded with explosives near Taji at about 5 p.m. Nov. 3.
The patrol noticed the vehicle approaching at high speed and fired warning shots. Military officials said the vehicle then accelerated and crossed into the northbound lane in a hostile, aggressive manner. The patrol engaged the vehicle with crew-served weapons and an MK 19 grenade launcher. The vehicle exploded, leaving a crater in the road. Explosive ordnance personnel estimated the vehicle contained at least 17 122 mm rounds.