U.S. air strikes yesterday killed seven fighters suspected of belonging to al Qaeda in Tikrit in Salahuddin province and near the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the name of the U.S. and Iraqi offensive in Diyala province remains the hottest front in Operation Phantom Thunder, the overarching operation in the Baghdad Belts. Since the start of the operation on June 16, U.S. and Iraqi forces have killed 59 al Qaeda operatives, captured 40, destroyed 28 roadside bombs and 12 booby-trapped buildings, and uncovered 16 weapons caches in Baqubah and the surrounding regions. U.S. and Iraqi forces have begun to distribute aid to civilians in the city.
An update on the Battle of Iraq
Operation Phantom Thunder, the corps coordinated operation across three theaters in the Baghdad Belts, has completed it seventh day. Ground forces commander Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno gave a briefing on the operation. To date, Coalition and Iraqi forces have killed 159 al Qaeda fighters and other insurgents, wounded 41, and detained 721 suspects. Coalition and Iraqi forces found and destroyed 304 roadside bombs, seven car bombs and 128 weapons caches.
U.S. commanders have begun to tamp down expectations of a large fight against al Qaeda believed to be trapped in the city. On Friday, ground forces commander Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno stated that it was thought about 80 percent of al Qaeda senior leaders escaped the city, while a large majority of the mid-level commanders and fighters remained.
Why they must have been good married men for they turn tail and run......Marshal Reuben J "Rooster" Cogburn