Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Iraq Braced For Ramadan Attacks As US Troops Launch Offensive

Baghdad (AFP) Oct 04, 2005
Thousands of US troops Tuesday widened their hunt for Al-Qaeda insurgents in a new offensive along Iraq's Euphrates Valley, as Iraqi security forces braced for possible attacks with the start of Ramadan.

Some 2,500 US soldiers launched the operation around Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana in western Iraq, the latest and largest such sweep in Al-Anbar province this year, the military said in a statement.

The new offensive, codenamed River Gate, aims "to deny Al-Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate in the three Euphrates River Valley cities and to free the local citizens from the insurgents' campaign of murder and intimidation."

"Haditha is an important crossroads for (Al-Qaeada in Iraq fighters') smuggling activities from the Syrian border," it added.

The operation follows hot on the heels of Operation Iron Fist, another sweep by 1,000 US troops further up the river, near the Syrian border.

At least 33 rebels have been killed in this operation since it started on Saturday, the military said, adding that a US soldier was killed in a bomb attack in Haqlaniyah on Monday.

The latest American death brings to at least 1,926 the number of US military personnel killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion of March 2003, according to Pentagon figures.

Iraqi Sunnis meanwhile started to observe the traditional month-long daylight fasting period Monday, with Shiites due to start fasting on Wednesday or Thursday, as determined by their religious leaders.

In Baghdad, security forces sought to tighten strict security precautions further after a series of rebel attacks at the start of Ramadan last year, some of them on Christian churches.

"It's going to be very intense in the next few days, especially with Ramadan," according to one Western diplomat.

Authorities are also expecting increased violence in the run-up to the October 15 referendum on a new constitution, meant to turn the page on the regime of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein who himself faces trial on October 19.

US and Iraqi security forces Tuesday also sealed off a district of Ramadi, 110 kilometres (65 miles) northwest of Baghdad, which they began to search, the military said.

Some 400 Iraqi forces and 500 US soldiers were engaged in Operation "Mountaineers" in Tammin district "to disrupt insurgents in southern Ramadi who are transporting weapons and munitions into the city."

"The current operation will help establish a more secure environment for local citizens' forthcoming participation in the October 15 referendum," the military added.

Meanwhile, in the southern Iraqi province of Najaf, a British national has been arrested after allegedly crossing over from Saudi Arabia with an armed band of of men, Iraqi officials said.

"We can confirm that a UK national has been arrested by the Iraqi department of border enforcement," a British military spokesman said, adding that the Foreign Office was investigating the incident which was believed to have happened Monday night.

An Iraqi border guard spokesman in Najaf, Saadun al-Jaaberi, said guards arrested "a terrorist group consisting of 10 people, including one British national called Colin Peter, near Mathlum, near the Saudi border".

The other nine were Iraqis from the southern city of Basra, he said.

The group was armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and were carrying a video camera, a satellite telephone and GPS satellite positioning device, Jaaberi added.

The British embassy in Baghdad could not immediately be reached for comment.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Outside View: America's Mideast Future
Washington (UPI) Oct 04, 2005
The emerging threats from non-state actors that the United States has seen in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, and in cells and organization in much of the region are likely to become steadily more sophisticated.

  • U.S. Experts Fear Russia-China Axis
  • US Pushes Japan To Break Deadlock Over Relocation Of Air Base
  • Corridors Of Power: Return Of Diplomacy
  • Indian And US Navies Hold Biggest-Ever War Games, Avoid nuclear issues

  • US Denies Urging Russia To Freeze Nuclear Cooperation With Iran
  • Iran Rejects Nuclear Talks With Preconditions
  • N.Korea Mountain Tour Popular In S.Korea
  • N.Korea Covered By Slogans

  • India Tests Surface-To-Air Missile
  • BAE SYSTEMS 70mm Laser-Guided Rocket Achieves Two Direct Hits
  • South Korea To Develop New Missile
  • Raytheon NLOS-LS Enhanced Precision Attack Missile Seeker Approved As Baseline Capability

  • Bulava Tests Boost Russia's Confidence Against BMD
  • Northrop Grumman Completes First Hardware and Software Integration For SBIRS
  • AEGIS Weapon System Successful In Ballistic Missile Tracking Exercise
  • Team Completes First Mission For MDA's Targets And Countermeasures Program

  • NGC Awards International Contracts For F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Nigeria To Buy Fighter Planes From China
  • First Joint Air Dominance Center In The World To Open
  • China's Top Airplane Maker Aims To Become Major Global Player

  • U.S. Customs & Border Protection Makes History With Launch Of Predator B UAV
  • Piasecki Aircraft Awarded Two Contracts For Army's FCS Class II & III UAV Systems
  • Raytheon Nets $31.4 Million Contract For MTS-A On MH-60, Predator
  • Predator UAS Family Achieves 150K Flight Hours

  • Outside View: America's Mideast Future
  • Iraq Braced For Ramadan Attacks As US Troops Launch Offensive
  • Poll: Iraqi Businesses Optimistic
  • U.S. Policymakers Despair Of Iraqi Army

  • Boeing Selects Aonix Software for Unmanned Combat System
  • Elbit Systems Unveils Revolutionary UGV Avantguard
  • Three-Year Study Will Focus On Autonomous Capabilities For Soldiers
  • Advanced Sniper Detection System For iRobot PackBot Unveiled

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement