US and Iraqi Forces Go on Offense
|“Operation Swarmer” started in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where Samarra is a key city. It is described as the largest air assault since the 2003 U.S. invasion. It included 50 aircraft, supported by a force of 1,500 Iraqi and Coalition troops and 200 tactical vehicles. |
A US military spokesman is quoted as saying the assault is designed to “clear a suspected insurgent operating area north east of Samarra”. It is expected to last several days, and has already resulted in a number of enemy weapons caches being captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms.
From outward appearances, our forces had been largely taking a back seat after the mosque bombing incident. It's important that we are resuming a more offensive campaign against insurgents. We will turn the situation in Iraq around only by going after these insurgents with all possible force. They need to be put on the defensive, not us. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that the terrorists must be “rooted out” and “they have no conscience so they need to be eliminated”.