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Steel Curtain Kills at Least 17 Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2005 – U.S Marines in Iraq today confirmed 17 terrorists killed since Operation Steel Curtain began Nov. 5. Coalition officials suspect, but haven't been able to confirm, many more killed.

Officials also reported coalition air strikes hit 10 targets today.

Also, terrorists reportedly fired on Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines from mosques in two separate incidents today. In both cases, Iraqi Army members entered quickly and searched the mosques, but the terrorists had already cleared the buildings. Terrorists frequently use religious and public buildings to launch their attacks.

The operation's fighting continued into the second day in the Husaybah near the Iraq-Syria border. The town is a location for foreign fighters, equipment and money to transit into Iraq. Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines have encountered and eliminated pockets of resistance throughout the day.

The combined force of about 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and 2,500 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers is clearing the city house by house as al Qaeda in Iraq-led terrorists continue to plant homemade bombs throughout the city and fire on Marines and Iraqi soldiers from homes, schools and mosques.

Marines and Iraqi soldiers have systematically searched every building. When locked buildings are encountered, forces typically cut the lock to gain entry for their search. Instructions to submit damages claims resulting from searches are left at the building for owners. Five teams of Marines have been tasked to help process claims for property damage.

After clearing Husaybah, Iraqi Army units will partner with Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2 to provide a joint presence in the city .Previous operations between Iraqi Army units integrated with Marines and soldiers assigned to the 2nd Marine Division have established a persistent joint presence recently in the cities of Hit, Hadithah, Barwana, Haqlaniyah, Sadah, Rawah, Amiriyah and Ferris.

Iraqi and coalition forces are providing 450 Husaybah residents displaced by the operation with billeting, food and security in temporary lodging.

There have been no reports of civilian casualties or of civilians leaving the region due to the operation.

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq

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