RealNews

U.S. Expanding Iraqi Offensive in Violent Area

Thousands of American, British and Iraqi troops began a new offensive sweep on Tuesday across a region south of Baghdad known as the triangle of death. The area earned its fearsome reputation as a haven for thieves, killers, crime families and terrorists, as well as insurgents who fled Falluja before the fighting started there. The operation began with 11 simultaneous early-morning raids in Jabella, west of the Euphrates River and about 40 miles south of Baghdad, said Col. Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is leading the effort. The new push can be seen as the opening of a third front – after the invasion of Falluja and more limited operations in the north around Mosul – by American-led forces against the insurgency. Officials said it would involve 2,000 to 3,000 American marines, soldiers and sailors, more than 1,000 members of Iraqi security forces and 850 members of the Black Watch, a British infantry battalion. Full Story

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