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U.S. Launches 'Iron Fist' Offensive in Western Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2005 – A force of about 1,000 Marines, soldiers and sailors from Regimental Combat Team 2 today mounted an operation against a known terrorist sanctuary in the western Anbar province town of Sadah, in the al Qaim region approximately 12 kilometers from the Syrian border, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported today.

Operation Kabda Bil Hadid, or "Iron Fist" in English, began in the early morning hours to root out al Qaeda and Iraqi terrorists operating in the area and to disrupt terrorist support systems in and around the city.

For the past several months terrorists within Sadah have escalated their intimidation and murder campaign against the local populace and city government officials, officials said. The resulting effect was an increased ability to move freely within the area and a base for them to launch attacks against innocent civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces, they said.

By interdicting foreign fighters flowing in from the Syrian border, the operation will also serve as a way to provide security for the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum, officials said.

As with all coalition operations, strict measures are being taken to prevent civilian casualties and unnecessary collateral damage to property, officials reported.

(Compiled from a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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