Morning Report: May 16, 2006

Task Force 145 strikes. Counterterrorism Blog:
Task Force 145 appears to have been busy over the weekend. In conjunction with the raid in Yusifiyah, which killed 25 al-Qaeda and resulted in the downing of a Coalition helicopter and the death of two U.S. Soldiers, TF-145 struck near the town of Latifiyah. Multinational Forces – Iraq reports 15 al-Qaeda were killed and 8 captured during series of raids over the course of two days on May 13-14.

Abu Mustafa, an al-Qaeda cell leader wanted for leading the cell which downed a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter, was among those killed. “Abu Mustafa was also a known weapons smuggler who allegedly facilitated the movement of missiles and rockets within the al-Qaida terrorist network,” according to the Multinational Forces – Iraq press release.

A reading of the press release shows the importance of good intelligence combined with the swift exploitation of intelligence gained from current operations. Four raids were carried out, the first resulting in the death of Abu Mustafa and an “an unknown affiliate.” One day later, three more raids resulted in the death of 14 additional al-Qaeda members and the capture of four others.

The area directly south of Baghdad, known as “The Triangle of Death,” appears to be an operational staging area for al-Qaeda's assault on Baghdad, and has now resulted in the death and capture of hundreds of al-Qaeda over the past few months. Task Force 145 has some good intelligence and is taking advantage of it, disrupting and destroying al-Qaeda cells on a regular basis. (CTB)

Iran's foreign minister to travel to Jordan. Iran Focus: 'an’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will travel to Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday, the official new agency said on Tuesday. Mottaki will meet with a number of Jordanian officials and will discuss bilateral and regional issues, the report said. Tehran is under pressure from the United Nations Security Council to abandon its uranium enrichment program which the West believes is for building a nuclear bomb.' (Iran Focus)

Iranian labor leader update. Azarmehr: 'Latest reports from Iran suggest that the leader of Iran's bus Drivers Trade Union, Mansour Ossanlou, is still incarcerated in the section 2 of the Evin prison. He is taken on an almost daily basis to division 14 of the interrogation unit, where the interrogators are exerting their pressure methods on Ossanlou to make him "confess" he has links with foreign powers. In the last 5 months Ossanlou has been imprisoned, he has suffered from dermatological problems and stomach bleeding. Ossanlou still hasn't been charged and is on remand but the authorities refuse to grant him bail.' (Azarmehr)

Bankrupt Hamas begs for guns. Vital Perspective: 'mid deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in Hamas-controlled Gaza, the group's Damascus-based leader, Khaled Meshaal, has appealed not for humanitarian aid but for more weapons and fighters to carry out terror attacks against Israel. "We ask all the people in surrounding Arab countries, the Muslim world and everyone who wants to support us to send weapons, money and men," Meshaal said Wednesday at a pro-Palestinian gathering in Qatar, just hours after Israel agreed to the Quartet's fiscal initiative that aims to aid the Palestinians in the bankrupt Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. ... When Hamas emerged victorious in January's PLC elections, the Quartet stipulated that monetary assistance and diplomatic ties would be conditional upon Hamas agreeing to three terms: recognition of Israel's right to exist; cessation of terrorist activity; and acknowledgement of previous peace agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority. Six weeks after assuming control of the government, Hamas officials still refuse to meet any of the Quartet's preconditions and continue to support terrorist activities. ...' Full article at the link. (Vital Perspective)

IDF squares the books with Elias Ashkar. Vital Perspective: 'Islamic Jihad terrorist Elias Ashkar, who masterminded the terror attack at in Tel Aviv last month, has been killed by the IDF. Commander Herzl Halevy of the IDF 'Menashe' Brigade discussed Ashkar on Army Radio this morning ...'. Go to the link for a transcript of the interview. (Vital Perspective)

US Soldier: "Stabbed in the back by the media." From Atlas Shrugs:
I am a 21 year old Marine and veteran of two tours in the Iraq War. I'm in the infantry and I fought in Fallujah when we stormed the city in November 2004. I just wanted to thank you for your blog and your reporting of the news. I come here when I want to see what's going on and I agree with all of your commentary. I found your site through Bill Roggio's blog. I used to go there for all my news but now I'm finding myself visiting your site more and more.

It is a great relief to see that other people in other parts of the country think like I do. And it is a great relief to see that so many people come to your site for the TRUTH. Because I can't say enough how angry I am and how much hate and rancor I have for the mainstream news media. Mainly over Iraq. I feel that we (veterans) have been betrayed, STABBED IN THE BACK, by the news media for their inaccurate and objective driven "news" that they broadcast. I'm sure you know but I'll say it anyways that we are winning in Iraq. ...

Read it all at the link. And pass it on. (Atlas Shrugs)

Milblogs: The blog. Mudville Gazette launches the Milblogs group blog. Go read it. (Milblogs)

Commentary. If you believe in bringing an end to terrorism and Middle Eastern fascism, support the troops. Any way you can. We are winning; and when you hear terrorists like Hamas begging for help, and when you hear terrorist sympathizers in America begging us to "bring the troops home" (please! make them stop!), you know we're doing something right.

Cross-posted at Dreams Into Lightning - TypePad.