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July 17, 2007
Another Major Offensive Against Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Intrepid war reporter Bill Roggio is reporting a major offensive against al-Qaeda involving several brigades of Americans and Iraqis aimed at hitting the terrorists in Babil:
Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched a major offensive in the town of Jurf al-Sakhr and a region known as the Fish Farms near Iskandariyah in northern Babil province. Operation Marne Avalanche is a multi-brigade operation of about 5,000 U.S. and 3,500 Iraqi troops. "The area is one of the most politically and tactically complicated in Iraq," Stars & Stripes reported. "It straddles the Shiite-Sunni fault line south of Baghdad." The purpose of Marne Avalanche is to clear the region of insurgents, prevent the flow of weapons into Baghdad, and restore the security forces in the region. Past attempts to secure this region failed as police stations were hit with suicide attacks. "Marne Avalanche will build on the successes of Task Force Marne's offensive operation, Marne Torch, which began June 1 and is ongoing," Multinational Forces Iraq stated in a press release.In a related operation in nearby Lutifiyah, 46 terrorists were captured by a combined ground and air assault. As the surging American and Iraqi troops pan out from Baghdad, al-Qaeda finds itself on the run which means that their attacks become harder to mount. However, they did manage a horrific attack in the vital oil center of Kirkuk yesterday, exploding a truck bomb near the headquarters of the main Kurdish party. Two other suicide bombs brought the death toll to 80 in that vital city.