TIKRIT, Iraq - In an effort to rid al-Qaeda from their perceived safe havens, Iraqi Security Forces, with support from Coalition Forces assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted Operation Market Fury in support of Operation Greywolf Hammer II, focusing on Muqdadiyah's Al Suk market area.

"This operation was critical for the improvement of the local economy in Muqdadiyah," said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition Forces in Diyala province. "Prior to al-Qaeda moving in, this area was the primary market for the Muqdadiyah region, but became deserted due to the terrorists' hatred and destruction."

Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment and Iraqi Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, conducted a detailed search of the market area discovering two house-borne improvised explosive devices, three weapons caches and reducing three other IEDs set to detonate on the roads along the market area.

During the five-day operation, ISF and CF Soldiers killed two unknown enemy forces and detained three others.

"Now that the area is secure, the local government can begin assessing the market to work on reconstruction and other essential services needed for the area to be fully functional," said Sutherland.

"In a community where most of the citizens' income stems from agriculture, having a market place that is secured, accessible to all citizens, and open for business is definitely a step forward and a sign of the progress across the province," he said.

"There is great economic potential in Diyala, and operations like Market Fury will continue to open the door to a more prosperous future for the people who have the same hopes, wishes, dreams and desires as we do," Sutherland said.