The United States general commanding operations in Saddam Hussein (news – web sites)’s ancestral homeland says that American forces have dealt a damaging blow to the insurgency in this pivotal region of Iraq in the past 30 days by choking off much of the guerrillas’ financing and arms supplies. But he also acknowledges that the occupation still faces huge challenges, including suicide bombings and the training and equipping of new Iraqi police officers and militia. The commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who heads the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division, said in an interview on Thursday night that American operations had captured several important insurgent financiers in recent days, seized money stashed across the region to pay for weapons and attacks ($500 to conduct a strike and up to $3,000 to kill American soldier), and stopped couriers smuggling money from outside Iraq. Full Story
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