Documents: Arms caches seized in Iraq, October through December 2007
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
Notes: In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Small Arms Survey, US Central Command (CENTCOM) released database records on more than 2000 arms caches discovered in Iraq in a 3-month period from October to December 2007. The records include information on the seized items, the date and location of the seizure, and the circumstances surrounding the seizure. CENTCOM also provided several storyboards containing photos and more extensive summaries of some of the seizures.
– establish a baseline of illicit weapons in a particular region,
– track the evolution of insurgent arsenals over time,
– analyze storage patterns and concealment methods,
– document potential violations of arms embargoes, and
– identify (or corroborate identification of) specific models of weapons and ammunition.
Small Arms Survey has obtained hundreds of additional pages of documents on arms caches, many of which have been posted on this site.
Below are links to the database records and the accompanying storyboards. For more information on illicit weapons in Iraq, see Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.
1) October 1-15
1) Mansour, 2 October 2007. Large cache found in an abandoned house by Iraqi National Police. Items included artillery rounds, mortar rounds, RPG rockets and launchers, machine guns, rifles, grenades, mines, body armor and various IED components (washing machine timers, ball bearings, ‘walkie talkie IED detonators,’ etc).
2) Ghazaliyah, 4 October 2007. Acting on a tip from a local citizen, coalition forces found explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), IED components, an RPG and launcher, Iraqi police body armor, and other items.
3) Muhalla, 5 October 2007. During cordon and search operations, coalition forces found a ‘medium-sized cache’ consisting of mortar and RPG rounds, an AK-pattern rifle and ammunition, explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), and various IED components.
4) Fetoah, 9 October 2007. Seized items include two M4 rifles, an M249 machine gun, and an M203 grenade launcher. The serial number of the M203 matched that of a launcher assigned to a missing US soldier.
6) Near Lake Tharthar, 20 October 2007. Seized weapons include 2 SA-7 pattern missiles, one gripstock, and an AGS-17 grenade launcher.
7) Narachi, Diyala Province, 23 October 2007. Coalition forces found a large cache behind a false wall. The cache included 124 fully assembled EFPs; approximately 150 copper discs; mortars; rockets; and 500 blocks of Iranian C4 labeled ‘January 2007,’ among other weapons. The soldiers also found a logbook and videotape documenting at least 56 attacks on coalition forces.
8) Al Hillah,_26 October 2007. Cache consisted of 27 Iranian 107 mm rockets, 4 of which were manufactured in 2006; two 20-tube rocket launchers, 17 rail launchers, 8 firing devices, and 27 MJ-1 fuzes.
9) Near Patrol Base Assassin, 27 October 2007. Coalition forces found 4 Iranian rockets, 18 improvised launchers, 14 timers and power supplies at the site of a rocket attack on a US forward operating base. The items were found in (or near) a collapsed thatched hut used to hide the rockets from UAVs and passer-bys.
10) Unspecified location, 28 October 2007. The Cache comprised weapons and ammunition of Chinese, Iranian, Iraqi, Italian, Soviet, and Yugoslav origin, including the Iranian hand grenade shown in the photo below. The cache also contained IED components and an EFP shaped like a rock.
11) West Rashid,_30 October 2007. Coalition forces found 10 improvised rocket launchers in a school. The launchers were reportedly linked to Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM).
12) Near Al-Mawsil, 31 October 2007. Coalition forces found numerous IEDs, components, and bags of unknown bulk explosives (UBE) in a field. The items included 2 directional IEDs and 7 empty pipe bombs (see image below). EOD technicians observed that ‘[v]arious methods of cone shaping and various lengths of pipes [used in the bombs] are indicators that UE are still in the experimental phase of production.’
13) Location unclear, 3 November 2007. While conducting cache sweeps, coalition forces found massive ‘hub cache’ of weapons and ammunition. Items recovered from the cache included nearly 1000 mortar rounds, hundreds of RPG rounds and rifle grenades, various rockets, improvised rocket launchers, and IED components. The items were buried in barrels, boxes, coolers, and refrigerators spread over a 1-kilometer area. EOD technicians estimated that there were enough IED components in the cache to build 400 IEDs.
14) Baghdad, 5 November 2007. Coalition forces found two caches in a soccer stadium on the border of neighborhoods controlled by rival factions (Badr and JAM). The caches contained mortars and mortar rounds of various calibers, firearms, ammunition, and explosives, among other items.
15) Near Kharmah, 1 December 2007. The cache consisted of an SA-7b MANPADS missile, an improvised launcher for S-5K rockets, RPG rounds, and small arms ammunition.
16) Salah ah Din Province, 21 December 2007. Coalition forces found four caches consisting of, among other items, 15 SA-7 pattern MANPADS missiles, +1200 lbs of UBE, 27 improvised shape charges, and 9 improvised landmines.
17) Unspecified location,_21 December 2007. CIS Guards found a cache consisting of items of Bulgarian, Chinese, Iraqi, and Russian origin.