Thursday, March 16, 2006

US and Iraqi forces launch Operation Swarmer

U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major offensive to root out terrorists hiding around Samarra.

Operation Swarmer began today with more than 1,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops, about 200 tactical vehicles, and more than 50 aircraft. Samarra is about 80 miles (125 kilometers) north of Baghdad on the Tigris River, and the site of the bombing of the Shia `Golden Mosque', which sparked sectarian violence throughout Iraq.

The assault is expected to continue for several days as a thorough search and clean out of the area progresses.

``This is an effort to try to strike a death blow against the insurgents and to limit the exposure of American troops to constant attacks,'' said Ted Galen Carpenter, a defense analyst at the Cato Institute, a policy research group in Washington.

(`insurgents', Ted?)

Weapons caches containing artillery shells, explosives, bomb making materials, and military uniforms were discovered during today's raid, according to the military's statement. Earlier this month, U.S. and Iraq troops found weapons and equipment caches west of Samarra.

Sunni-led terrorists have been able to carry out a number of attacks in Iraq by disguising themselves in stolen military uniforms.

This is all good. Even better would be firm action by the Bush Administration aimed towards securing the Syrian and Iranian borders with Iraq.

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