New U.S. offensives in Iraq
Published Oct 8, 2005 11:27 PM
Just as the month-long Ramadan fast was
beginning, the U.S. Army opened a new offensive in the West of Iraq called
“Operation River Gate.” On Oct. 4, U.S. occupation troops began
attacking the cities of Haklanija, Parwana and Haditha in Iraq’s Anbar
According to reports from news agencies, combat aircraft and
helicopters bombed areas the U.S. forces described as “possible hiding
places for resistance groups.”
Some 2,500 U.S. soldiers and several
hundred Iraqis were involved in the assault. While the U.S. military reported
that at least 57 resistance fighters were killed, local doctors reported that
women and young children were among the dead.
reportedly lit up the sky over the three cities, while cannon fire could be
heard. Electricity went out in large areas of Haklanija. According to the
Pentagon, bridges over the Euphrates in Haditha and Haklanija were destroyed in
an attempt to keep resistance fighters from fleeing into the
“Operation River Gate” is said to be aimed at wiping
out resistance forces in the three towns in anticipation of the Oct. 15
referendum on a “constitution.” This is a document drafted by the
occupiers and tweaked by different elements among the collaborators. Though the
attack was supposed to be a surprise, there were reports that the invading
troops were hit by many roadside bombs.
Earlier in the week, on Oct. 1,
some 1,000 U.S. soldiers carried out an offensive called “Iron
Fist.” Both offensives continued, but reports from the area said that most
resistance fighters had slipped out of the area before the U.S. struck.
In an attempt to assure passage of the “constitution,” the
Iraqi puppet parliament passed a new law requiring that two-thirds of
“registered” voters in three provinces would have to vote against
the charter for it to be rejected.
At home, the Pentagon is still having
trouble filling its quotas of new enlistees. According to a report in USA Today,
some 73 soldiers in a special reserve program have refused to appear for wartime
duty. Some have been absent for more than a year.
Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty
told the newspaper that the Army has chosen not to take action against them.
“We just continue to work with them,” he said, “reminding them
of their duty.” The soldiers belong to the Individual Ready Reserve
To partly make up for the lack of soldiers, private companies are
hiring “third-country nationals” to clean the areas where the troops
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