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Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Troops sweep neighborhoods to help clear area insurgents

June 23, 2007

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An Iraqi soldier secures the area Thursday in Baqouba, Iraq, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. The U.S. military began a major campaign against Sunni insurgents Monday in the area surrounding Baqouba, the capital of Iraq's Diyala province.

An Iraqi soldier secures the area Thursday in Baqouba, Iraq, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. The U.S. military began a major campaign against Sunni insurgents Monday in the area surrounding Baqouba, the capital of Iraq's Diyala province.

— Hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi troops, under cover of F-16s, fought their way into three neighborhoods of besieged Baqouba on Friday to help clear Diyala province of entrenched insurgents. To the north of the city, American helicopters killed 17 al-Qaida gunmen trying to sneak past a checkpoint.

As the mission of 10,000 U.S. soldiers to take back the volatile and extremely dangerous province intensified in its fourth day, so have concerns about keeping al-Qaida fighters on the run. The terrorist fighters and their allies already have been run out of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province, only to regroup in Diyala's capital of Baqouba and surrounding districts.

The U.S. ground forces commander, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, said more than three-quarters of Baqouba's al-Qaida leadership fled before the Americans moved into the city this week. At the time, drone observer planes spotted fighters planting dozens of roadside bombs on the main highway into Baqouba.

Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, assistant commander for operations with the 25th Infantry Division, estimated that several hundred low-level al-Qaida fighters remained.

"They're clearly in hiding, no question about it. But they're a hardline group of fighters who have no intention of leaving, and they want to kill as many coalition and Iraqi security forces as they possibly can," Bednarek said Friday.

"It's 24-7 for us here, and it's probably the same for our adversary as well," he said. "It's house-to-house, block to block, street to street, sewer to sewer - and it's also cars, vans - we're searching every one of them."

An Associated Press employee in Baqouba reported heavy fighting as U.S. troops swept into three eastern neighborhoods in Friday's operation, which began after U.S. forces warned residents to leave or stay indoors.

The American military said the 17 al-Qaida fighters were killed trying to flee past Iraqi security blockades on the road to Khalis, a predominantly Shiite city northeast of Baqouba.

Earlier this week, creeping house-to-house through western Baqouba, U.S. soldiers made a startling discovery: a suspected al-Qaida field hospital stocked with oxygen tanks, heart defibrillators and other medical equipment.

The find displayed al-Qaida's sophisticated support network in Baqouba, a mostly Sunni town of about 300,000 people, located 35 miles north of Baghdad.

And that may presage great problems in an outright defeat of al-Qaida even if U.S. forces succeed in ousting the group from Baqouba. The city has received little aid or other services from the central government, which feared supplies would end up in al-Qaida hands.

Comments

Fudgepop 6 years, 10 months ago

I sure feel sorry for those troops and everyone involved. I am sure that it is a mess. I sure wish that we did not have to go over there and do anything. I am not sure we do because from what I know which is very little. It should be done another way. I think that people should be able to run their own government but then I look at ours and wonder what we all could do better. I also wonder about governments and countries that are so old and ways that are so established in culture so steadfast in doing things the same way they always did and thinking it is for the best that people do not know and are not sure what to do.

You think that there are people that are there and lived and been in power for milleniums. Where as the United States is a government that is only 300 years old. YOu think those people are so steeped in tradition that they may have lost contact with the modern world (not that that is bad too much) but that they sacrificed things along the way. In addition to this there are medical technologies and other such that they are not provided by the rulers because they do not want to contribute the the welfare of the manufacturers because they are not of their religion so therefore the see it as an invasion.

OUr culture is so different from theirs. And it is only one of them.

oN the flip side of it all you have the benefit of our being a young nation and it might have liberated the nations of Europe and kept them in check by doing business with them because of similarities in language, so this means that there is an increase in the amount of newness and innovative In nova ideas. This creates a situation where it is not as rigidly structured and there are more freedoms. ]

I have thought about this since the "first" Persian Gulf crisis in 1991 when I was a counselor and was not sure where to stand or if to stand and it made me really mad.

The news is a tricky thing.

But donut worry I am so pop punk I am NIRVANA.

In other news Spiderman....

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Jamesaust 6 years, 10 months ago

By my count "al-Qaida" appears nine times on this page. Pray tell - what is the distinguishing mark of "al-Qaida"? I wonder where all the "Sunnis" are - you know, the "insurgents" that represent the millions of secular, dissatisfied peoples of the former regime and who are native to this region? Apparently, they've all 'got religion.' Perhaps the LJWorld can reprint - WITHOUT REFLECTION - the missing AP story where they all converted. I must have missed that story.

(Or perhaps an investigative journalist might write up a story on how the AP became unthinking parrots of a governmental propaganda machine?)

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