First Published: 2007-08-13

US army mounts major Iraq assault

American troops launch ‘Operation Phantom Strike’ but US military declines to elaborate on operation.


Middle East Online

Odierno: ‘this effort will be a top priority’

BAGHDAD - US troops in Iraq launched a major assault against militants and alleged Iranian-aided extremist groups on Monday.

Operation Phantom Strike, the military announced, was being waged nationwide to disrupt Shiite extremist operations and insurgents affiliated to Al-Qaeda.

"It consists of simultaneous operations throughout Iraq focused on pursuing remaining AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq) terrorists and Iranian-supported extremist elements," the military said.

"My intent is to continue to pressure AQI and other extremist elements throughout Iraq to reduce their capabilities," said Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the number two commander of US forces in Iraq.

The US military declined to elaborate on the operation, citing "security concerns."

"But I can say this effort will be a top priority for combat units operating in Iraq for this period leading up to Ramadan," a spokesman said, referring to the Muslim month of fasting due to begin in the second week of September.

The US military also said it had arrested a top "financier" of Iraqi extremist groups believed to be supported by Tehran's elite Quds Force in a Baghdad raid on Monday.

The arrest came a day after up to five militants were killed and 13 others detained during a raid on Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City. The military claimed those they rounded up in that raid were also linked to the Quds Force.


Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: ‘we will completely destroy’ Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

Iraq forces press Mosul assault

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears