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Operation Planet X in Iraq, May 15

Operation Planet X

On or about May 15, 2003 US Army forces raided a village near Ad Dawr and Al Dur, about 11 miles south of Tikrit. US forces were searching for Ba´ath party members and militants. The operation was dubbed "Planet X" and resulted in the capture of 260 prisoners including Gen. Mahdi Al-Duri Al-Tikrit Adil Abdallah from the United States´ most-wanted list of former Iraqi officials. 230 of those captured were released the following day. Also detained were two sons of Lt. Gen. Al-Duri Izzat Ibrahim, Number 6 on the list, and five Special Security Office bodyguards.

News reports indicate that the raid lasted for roughly five hours and was carried out by the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and elements of Task Force Ironhorse. Planning for the operation took roughly one week and was based on intelligence from HUMINT sources.

At around 2 AM local time, US forces began to form a cordon around a nine-block area within the village and houses were then subjected to a house-to-house search involving some 500 soldiers. By the time the raid had ended at 7 AM nearly 200 houses had been searched. Other assets used include eighteen M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 12 field artillery pieces, some thirty HMMWVs, and six patrol boats.

The searches also resulted in the capture of seventeen bricks of plastic explosive.