From CENTCOM comes a nice report about the freeing of 3 Iraqi citizens who were held in a spider hole for 27 days, and tortured during that time, as well as the capture of a large cache of weapons, including an armed suicide car:
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – Marines from Regimental Combat Team 5’s, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, and soldiers from 2nd and 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, rescued three Iraqi hostages in an intelligence-driven operation July 23.
The three were personal assistants and bodyguards to Dr. Rafa Hayid Chiad Al-Isaw, an Iraqi government official in Baghdad.
“We are extremely pleased we were able to recover these three Iraqi citizens,” said Col. Larry D. Nicholson, commanding officer for RCT-5. “The safety of Iraqi citizens to move freely about their own country without fear is a priority for U.S and Iraqi forces and we will continue to assist the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police in ensuring their citizens have a future that is free of terrorism.”
The three were held captive by al-Qaeda insurgents in a spiderhole complex for 27 days. The hostages were beaten with electrical cords, bitten and threatened with their lives at gunpoint by their captors. They were treated by Coalition Forces medical personnel.
The three were taken hostage by al-Qaeda insurgents west of Zaidon, a rural area south of Fallujah. They were rescued near Fuhaylat, southwest of Fallujah.
Also recovered nearby was a significant weapons cache, including a fully-assembled suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. Marines also recovered IEDs and IED-making material, mortar tubes and round, artillery rounds, machine guns, bulk explosives, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, AK-47 assault rifles, small-arms ammunition and video cameras.
Regimental Combat Team 5, partnered with Iraqi Security Force units, is currently conducting counter-insurgency and security operations in the greater Fallujah area.
What the story doesn’t say is how the Marines located this complex. While it could have been dumb luck, I like to assume that Iraqis were talking, and that in itself is a good sign.