100 Rebels Killed in U.S. Offensive in Western Iraq

(New York Times) Richard Oppel Jr. - A Marine task force swept through a wide area of western Iraq near the Syrian border, killing 100 insurgents and raiding desert outposts and city safe houses belonging to insurgents who have used the area to import money, weapons, and foreigners to fight U.S. and Iraqi forces, American military officials said Monday. "The enemy honestly felt that they had a sense of security up there," Col. Bob Chase said. "It had been a safe haven, and a lot of folks up there were former Baathists. Now it is no longer a safe haven." Insurgents have had a network of illegal "rat lines" of men and materials moving from Syria into Iraq that had to be interdicted, he said. The U.S. is paying for the rebuilding of 190 Iraqi border forts, including 58 already completed, according to American officials. A senior American commander said effective control of infiltration by foreign fighters was still "some months away." Border control was crucial because foreign fighters make up a large percentage of suicide bombers.

2005-05-10 00:00:00

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