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Iraq Report: Another Chlorine Attack, Four big ops underway

Baghdad has been relatively quiet. A suicide attack on a Joint Security Station in Sadr City was foiled, and another just south of the city was also prevented. Al Qaeda employed yet another chlorine in Ramadi while major operations are ongoing in the provinces.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has conducted yet another chlorine suicide bomb attack in Anbar province. Today's attack occurred on the outskirts of Ramadi. The suicide bomber was targeting a police station, but detonated outside of a residential area. "The truck contained many tonnes of chlorine and TNT which were covered by sacks full of fertilisers," an Iraqi policeman told AFP. Twenty-seven were killed and 30 wounded. This is the ninth attempted chlorine attack in Anbar province, seven of which were successfully detonated. Al Qaeda in Iraq is working to break the military, destroy the Anbar Salvation Council and terrorize the local population.

The U.S. and Iraqi security forces have been conducting four major operations outside of Baghdad, in the Mosul region, Anbar province, Diwaniyah and Diyala.

In Mosul, over 179 insurgents were captured and 8 killed during operations over the past week. Violence in Niwena province has increased since U.S. and Iraqi forces have shifted towards Baghdad.

Iraqi and Coalition launched an operation today in Diwaniyah in the south, and captured 27 "insurgent suspects." Three insurgents were killed and 6 wounded. While not mentioned in the press release, the target is the Mahdi Army. The discovery of Explosively Formed Projectiles is the signature of the Iranian backed militia. "A facility was found where several explosively-formed projectiles were in several stages of production. Four EFPs were assembled in the facility and secured. EFP-making materials were also found and secured. Two other locations were found containing homemade explosives." Yesterday, four British soldiers were killed in an EFP attack in Basra.

Coalition forces also kicked off an operation in Anabr province. The purpose is to expand into the series of small farming villages outside of Anbar's larger cities and towns. "In western Al Anbar, the fight has traditionally centered on its urban centers," said Col. Stacy Clardy, commanding officer for RCT-2. "Now we™re going after the enemy in those remote areas of the province where they may hide or use to move around us, leaking into the interior of the country. We plan to shake things up."

In Diyala, U.S. and Iraqi forces have been conducting a series of targeted raids, clearing operations, search and destroy missions and some permanent presence missions in the Diyala River Valley in and around Baqubah. Al Qaeda is at its strongest in Diyala, and the Coalition is prepping the battlefield for the expected big push into the province as the troops for the Baghdad Security Plan arrive in theater.

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