US Launches Major Attack on Sunni Insurgents

Americans take the fight outside of Baghdad to al Qaeda HQ
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2007 7:16 AM CDT
US Launches Major Attack on Sunni Insurgents
U.S. soldiers of the 2nd brigade, 23rd Infantry regiment run for cover during a joint U.S and Iraqi forces operation, in Rasheed neighborhood in southern of Baghdad, Iraq, early Tuesday, June 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Two thousand U.S. and Iraqi troops launched a large-scale assault on Sunni insurgents in Diyala province last night, pursuing militants who have moved their strongholds outside of Baghdad. The offensive in the province's capital, Baquba, is part of a much larger operation attacking centers of insurgency all over Iraq. Twenty-two fighters were killed yesterday, the military reports.

Today, troops cut off Western Baquba, where 300-500 al Qaeda fighters are holed up. Clearing the city is expected to be slow and dangerous, as insurgents have rigged it with huge buried bombs, explosives in houses, and machine gun nests. The larger attack in Iraq is code-named operation Arrowhead Ripper. (Read more al-Qaeda in Iraq stories.)

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