Operation Iron Boston Targets al Qaeda Hideout
January 29, 2008
PATROL BASE YUSIFIYAH, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 29, 2008) - Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers air assaulted into the Sa'id Abdullah Corridor Jan. 27.
Operation Iron Boston was a daytime air assault into an area south of Baghdad. Keeping the enemy guessing is exactly what leaders wanted to do said Capt. Michael Starz, commander of Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
"Every air assault we do is different," Starz said. "There's not a single time that we do a big operation that it looks the same to the enemy. We never want to be predictable."
The Iraqi Army detained 24 individuals. Five of the men were detained after Iraqi Soldiers discovered them hiding in a spider hole. Starz described the hole as being well constructed, deep and big enough to fit 10 men.
Kiowa helicopters provided close-air support to ensure the area was safe for U.S. and Iraqi troops. While ground forces moved in and out of houses, the Kiowas made low-level passes and fired rockets to deter any would-be attackers.
Insurgent activity has been prominent in the corridor.
"The Sa'id Abdullah Corridor is where all the al-Qaeda groups in this region were controlled from," Starz said. "It's where their leadership was present, where their logistics occurred - basically they controlled the movement of foreign fighters into the area from this location."
Historically, the Sa'id Abdulla Corridor has been the borderline between operating environments for Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces. Being on the border may have led insurgents to believe they could avoid detection.
Starz said his unit communicates closely with 3-320th Field Artillery, the neighboring battalion to 3-187th Infantry. "Between all the Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces operating in the area, it's no longer a safe haven for them."
(Staff Sgt. Tony M. Lindback serves with the 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault.)