FUHUYLAT, Iraq 2006) — Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment rescued three hostages and uncovered a large weapons cache, including a fully-assembled suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, during Operation Spotlight.
The intelligence-driven operation was conducted alongside Iraqi Army soldiers from 2nd and 4th Brigades, 1st Iraqi Army Division recently. The three hostages were personal assistants of Dr. Rafa Hayid Chiad Al-Isawi, an Iraqi government official in
. They were held by al-Qaeda insurgents for 27 days.
“We are extremely pleased we were able to recover these Iraqi citizens,” said Col. Larry D. Nicholson, Regimental Combat Team 5’s commanding officer. “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 hostages were beaten with electrical cords by their captors, as well as bitten and threatened with their lives at gunpoint. They were treated by Coalition Forces medical personnel.
The three were taken hostage by insurgents west of Zaidon, a rural area south 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.