There is little rest for al Qaeda and the insurgency in the Qaim region, or in northwestern or southwestern Iraq as well. Reuters AlertNet reports multiple airstrikes in Karabila and ground operations in Gumruk.
“American aircraft have struck the city of Karabila more than 10 times,” the source said. A security source added that the Iraqi army also clashed with insurgents at Gumruk, near Karabila, on Tuesday.”
The involvement of Iraqi Army units, if true, is an interesting development, as most operations in this region have been conducted by U.S. Marines. Word has it that families are moving to Haditha to escape the recent fighting.
The efforts to seal the three main border crossings of the insurgency and al Qaeda are now in effect. Tal Afar and Rabiah are under lockdown in the north. The Qaim region is under repeated interdiction in the center. Rutbah is being isolated in the south.
Defense Minister Dulaimi laid out the plan for all to see well over a month ago. While dismissed at the time by many as bluster, his words appear to be quite accurate.
“Our forces will start from the Syrian border till we reach Ramadi, then to Fallouja We have taken precise measures on the ground and acquired the president’s approval to start the operation.”
Both the political will and the physical capacity appears to be avaible to conduct these operations as Dulaimi described. Perhaps the insurgents and al Qaeda should have paid attention. Not that there is much they could have done to prevent it.
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