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US, Iraqi Troops Launch New Offensive in Western Iraq

  • VOA News

U.S. and Iraqi troops have launched a new offensive against al-Qaida in Iraq's stronghold in western Iraq, close to the Syrian border.

The U.S. military said on Saturday that 25,00 U.S. service members and a thousand Iraqi soldiers are participating in the operation, dubbed "Steel Curtain."

This operation follows two others - Operations Iron Fist and River Gate - in the same region.

It is intended to restore security along the porous Iraqi-Syrian border and destroy the al-Qaida in Iraq network which operates near the border town of Husaybah and in the Euphrates River Valley.

Elsewhere, the U.S. military says three American soldiers were killed Friday, two in Baghdad and one in the Ramadi area.

And in Morocco, a national march is planned for Sunday in Casablanca to call for the release of two kidnapped Moroccans al-Qaida in Iraq says they plan to execute.

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