Without much notice from the national media Operation Swarmer ended yesterday, without any casualties reported and all tactical objectives met by the coalition forces.
Operation Swarmer started last Thursday involving 1,500 Iraqi and coalition forces, including some 50 Blackhawk helicopters which delivered the soldiers into a 10-by-10-square mile area northeast of Samarra, which is about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
The combined coalition forces moved through area using the intelligence and planning primarily by the Iraqi security forces. The operation resulted in the capture of 104 suspected terrorists, and 24 weapon caches were discovered.
That cache included six shoulder-fired surface to air missiles, more than 350 mortar rounds and three mortar systems, 26 artillery rounds, a variety of bomb-making materials and other military items, more than 120 rockets, more than 3,200 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 86 rocket-propelled grenades and 28 launchers, six land mines, 12 hand grenades and 40 rifle grenades and 24 rifles and machine guns of various types.
Also yesterday east of Baghdad, elements of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division found five weapon cache sites. The caches contained 17 pressure plate initiators, 18 106mm heat rounds, 400 blasting caps, 20 radios with timers, 40 artillery rounds of various sizes and large amounts of .50 caliber rounds.
With this kind of success, you would think that many more operations such as this one are in the planning. Hopefully the Iraqi forces have shown that they are a capable and willing to take the fight to the enemy.
With the weapons and explosives we have been finding, there is no doubt in my mind that the terrorist have been receiving help, most likely from Iran. With there help the terrorist have been able to use more potent and destructive IED's, not to mention the personal they are sending into the country. We must defeat this enemy and we can not run from from our obligation.