Friday, August 17, 2007

Odierno: U.S. to 'conduct quick-strike raids against remaining extremist sanctuaries and staging areas'

Above: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter launches for a night air assault mission during Operation Lightning Hammer in Diyala Province on Tuesday.

The U.S. military is planning a series of "quick-strike" attacks all around Iraq to go after militants who evaded the big military operation of recent weeks, a top commander said Friday...

Military operations launched since the U.S. troop buildup have helped coalition forces retake some territory in main population centers from extremists, he said, adding that militants have now moved to remote areas. He noted this week's devastating bomb attack in two remote northern villages that officials say killed at least 500 people.

"Due to the constant pressure and depletion of their leadership, extremists have been pushed out of many population centers and are on the move, seeking other places to operate within the country," Odierno told a Pentagon press conference by video from Baghdad.

"As a result, we are now in pursuit of al-Qaida and other extremist elements, and we'll continue to aggressively target their shrinking areas of influence," he said.

"Over the coming weeks, we plan to conduct quick-strike raids against remaining extremist sanctuaries and staging areas," Odierno said.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

Related Link:
U.S. launches offensive south of Baghdad with airstrikes; 4,000 troops involved

Related Link:
U.S. launches new offensive in Diayala with air assault; 16,000 troops take part in 'Operation Lightning Hammer'

Related Link:
U.S. launches new Iraq-wide simultaneous offensive; Says 'Operation Phantom Strike' targets al-Qaeda and 'Iranian-supported extremist elements'