U.S. forces launched an offensive against insurgents in western Iraq near the Syrian border, and about 75 militants were killed in the first 24 hours, the military said Monday.
It said the offensive, being conducted with U.S. air support in a desert area of Anbar province north of the Euphrates River, was targeting a sanctuary for foreign insurgents and a smuggling route.
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that more than 1,000 U.S. troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships on Sunday attacked villages in and around Obeidi.
Also Monday, a suicide car bomb killed three Iraqis in Baghdad, police said. U.S. forces detained 13 suspected militants, including one who may have plotted an attempt to kill former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, the military said.
Insurgent violence killed eight U.S. service members in Iraq over the weekend, raising the death toll to more than 300 from a torrent of insurgent attacks in Iraq since April 28, when a &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/93/375/9849_aziz.html ' target=_blank>new Iraqi Cabinet was approved by parliament with seven positions undecided.
At least 1,600 members of the U.S. military have now died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, informs the Globe and Mail. According to ADNKi, only 17 of the 275 members of the Iraqi parliament are Sunni, after leading Sunni parties boycotted the January 30 elections. However, the Shiite and Kurdish coalitions who won the most votes in the polls promised to make the new government as inclusive as possible.