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August 17, 2007

US To Blitz Iraqi Terrorists Who Dodged Previous Operations

Hmmmm...

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 America'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.

...

Odierno said there has been a shift in who is causing the most violence in Iraq. The military calculates that in July, 52 percent of the violence across the country was caused by al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents and 48 percent by Shiite extremists—compared to January when they say Sunnis and al-Qaida accounted for 70 percent.

This seems more likely to work so long as you don't tell them about it weeks in advance.

A commenter pointed out that the fact Al Qaeda was promising an imminent attack was good evidence for the fact they weren't. He pointed out the obvious fact that announcing a coming sneak attack is, what's the word, retarded, and most likely then this was all false. Designed merely to exhaust US law enforcement/security personnel with 60 or 70 hour weeks during a period when Al Qaeda had no attacks planned, so they'd all be worn out and less alert during any real attacks that might be coming.

Is that the idea here? Just get these guys running so they'll slip up and get themselves caught? Maybe they figure surprise is less likely to result in capturing these guys than fear and weariness.

As an aside, Odeiro mentions that the commanders in Iraq all expect the surge-force troops to be withdrawn by next August (when their tours are scheduled to end) and not be replaced by fresh forces. Which isn't really a surprise, but there you go.


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posted by Ace at 12:39 PM

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