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.

 

US approves $7 billion in arms deals to Arab allies

US says 50,000 IS jihadists killed in Iraq, Syria since 2014

Six killed in Egypt bomb blast

British FM says Saudi, Iran engaging in 'proxy wars'

Qatar to invest up to $13bn on 'mega projects' in 2017

Regime air strikes resume on east Aleppo after 'pause'

Erdogan urges Turks to step up efforts to boost lira

IS kills 49 Syrian army members near Palmyra

UN says hundreds of Aleppo escapees missing, rebels block others from leaving

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ to have surgery in India

Israeli army admits Hezbollah map just ‘illustration’

Saudi soldier killed by landmine near Yemen border

Shadow of executed Shiite cleric looms in Saudi hometown

Russia vows no let-up in Aleppo assault while 'bandits' remain

400 migrants storm Spanish enclave border

IS claims Egypt cleric murders, threatens Sufis

UN Syria envoy planning to meet Trump team

Israel arrests alleged Hamas kidnap plotters

Greek court rejects extraditing last two Turkish 'coup' officers

Russian student faces jail after following IS lover to Syria

Yazidi leader calls on international community to help

UN reiterates fears for Aleppo children

Libya finds 266 IS bodies in former jihadist bastion Sirte

Turkey targets German diplomats at airports in revenge move

Aleppo White Helmets call for safe passage

Germany seeks to conclude training deal with Saudi

Egypt arrests son of former Islamist president

Israel joins forces with Greece, Cyprus to fight fire

Erdogan advisor says foreign TV chefs are spies

'No progress' in Kerry, Lavrov Syria meeting

Air force strikes IS fighters in western Iraq

Saudi arms self sufficiency may take years says chief

IS kills at least 26 Syrian regime fighters in Homs

Rosneft shares leap after deal with Glencore, Qatar

150 rescued from Aleppo health facility

Russia demands jail for student accused of trying to join IS

IS video reveals kidnapped British journalist alive

Two Hamas militants killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Israel votes to approve settler homes bill

Dozens of civilians killed in Iraq air strike

Syrian regime confident of Aleppo victory

Libya's key oil region threatened by renewed fighting

Syria rebels call for Aleppo ceasefire

Rebel rockets scar west Aleppo residents

Egypt jails prominent NGO activist