Coalition and Iraqi Troops Find Large Ammunition Caches
A series of daylight patrols on April 19th led to the discovery of a huge cache of Iranian manufactured weapons. The joint Iraqi and Coalition patrols worked outward in the Basra region, and they stumbled across a house in the Al Hyyaniyah area which housed the large stash of weapons.
Soldiers from various coalition units were working closely with the Iraqi 1st Army when they found the cache of weapons. The search is part of the larger Operation Charge of the Knights, which is being conducted in the Basra and surrounding region. The cache and supply of the weapons found had many different weapons and types of ammunition, all with clear Iranian language markings on them.
The weapons included about 160 different mortars; some of the weapons had dates on them less than a year old. The mortars varied with both explosive warheads and normal ammunition types, and most of them were 240 mm type weapons. There were more than 25 artillery shells of various calibers in the cache, and more than 25 complete IED devices along with large quantities of fuses, grenades and 20 blocks of plastique and C4 type explosives. Most of the materials were such as could be used in homemade anti personnel mines and explosives, such as detonation cord, rocket launching rails, ball bearings, and nails.
The Operation Charge of the Knights has been an exercise where MNF Baghdad coalition forces are working to train Iraqi Police and National Iraq Army personnel to deal with security and maintain the pressure on criminal and insurgent elements throughout the Basra region and southern Iraq.
“This has been Iraqi led and executed from the very beginning,” said Lieutenant Colonel Harper. Colonel Harper is public affairs officer for Iraq MNF. “We have seen the capability that the Iraqi Army and Police have developed, they can now work to protect and defend the people of Basra quite well,” said Colonel Harper.