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FIRST IRAQI LED OPERATION IN MOSUL

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Iraqi authorities said, on Saturday 10/03/2009, they have arrested more than 150 suspected Sunni militants in and around the northern city of Mosul in the first Iraqi led operation of its size. The operation is being led by an elite Iraqi anti-terrorist unit from Baghdad (see also – Mosul 08.13.09 ).

The operation began late on Wednesday 09/30/2009, and is understood to be continuing.  It is the first major Iraqi-led offensive in the area since USA forces withdrew from urban areas of the country, on 06/30/2009 (see – Sovereignty-Day).

Some detainees are part of Al Qaeda in Iraq, others loyal to Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Baath party, officials said.

The defense ministry says that 100 of the detainees have already been transferred to the capital for questioning, and that about 100 are still wanted.

In contrary to most expectations the Iraqi army successfully manages to keep the general level of civilian casualties low and it continuous to decline. It seems that the USA army is, now, able to speed up its plan to withdrawal from the country and transfer more unites to Afghanistan.

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