Breaking News: (AP) US forces and Iraqi troops have launched the largest air assault since the US led invasion in 2003. The area being targeted is insurgent strongholds north of the capital in Samarra.
“More than 1,500 Iraqi and Coalition troops, over 200 tactical vehicles, and more than 50 aircraft participated in the operation,” the military statement said of the attack designed to “clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra,” 60 miles north of Baghdad.
FOX News: Operation Swarmer
Coalition forces have dubbed the assault “Operation Swarmer,” which is an operation consisting of about 1,500 soldiers in all, including the Iraqi Army’s 1st Brigade, 4th Division, the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. The assault is a combination of air and ground operations involving more than 200 tactical vehicles and more than 50 aircraft also participated in the operation.
CNN: Military launches largest Iraqi air assault since invasion
The aircraft also delivered troops from the Iraq and U.S. Army to “multiple objectives.” The offensive began Thursday morning in southern Salaheddin province “to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra,” the site of the bombing of the Shiite shrine that escalated sectarian tensions and pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
UPDATE: (AP) U.S., Iraq Launch Massive Air Assault
The military said the assault Ã¢â‚¬” Operation Swarmer Ã¢â‚¬” aimed to clear “a suspected insurgent operating area” and would continue over several days.
Residents in the area of the assault reported a heavy U.S. and Iraqi troop presence and said large explosions could be heard in the distance. American forces routinely blow up structures they suspect as insurgent safe-houses or weapons depots. It was not known if they met any resistance, but the military reported detaining 41 people.