New U.S. Military Operations in Iraq

May 29, 2005

Faced with a rising level of resistance from the Iraqi people, the U.S. launched a new military offensive in western Iraq on May 22, and is planning another for Baghdad.

Earlier this week, over 1,000 U.S. troops launched an offensive in Iraq's Anbar province, near the city of Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. The offensive was the second in the region in less than a month, and already the U. S. has killed hundreds of Iraqis, including many children. Numerous U.S. troops have also been killed as part of the offensive during the past week.

On May 25, U.S. military commanders also revealed that a largescale offensive, the biggest since the U.S. invasion over two years ago, will soon be launched in order "to crush the Baghdad insurgency." The offensive, named "Operation Lightning," will use tens of thousands of U. S. and Iraqi troops to encircle Baghdad with "an impenetrable blockade."

According to the plan, 675 fixed military checkpoints, plus mobile ones, will be setup around the capital. "We will divide Baghdad into seven main areas, and the number of the forces who will take part in the operation from the interior and the defense ministry will be more than 40,000 security men," an Iraqi military official commented. "We will also impose a concrete blockade around Baghdad, like a bracelet around an arm, God willing, and God be with us in our crackdown...No one will be able to penetrate this blockade," he said.