US steps up counterinsurgency raids

18 November 2003
US forces in Iraq have launched a number of high visibility attacks against positions across the country in an attempt to curb insurgency in the country, which has increased during the holy month of Ramadan. In Baquba, about 36 miles north of Baghdad, two F-15 fighter jets dropped four 500-pound bombs sites suspected to have been used by militants. 'We had taken action on these targets before, but this is to demonstrate one more time that we have significant firepower and we can use it at our discretion,' said US military official Mark Young. 'They attacked us during Ramadan when we were willing to give them a chance, so this is our response,' he said.

US officials in Iraq announced on 17 November that they had detained 99 suspected insurgents across Iraq in 24 hours. US military spokesman Mark Kimmitt, said that the 99 'anti-coalition suspects' had been arrested as part of continuing operations against insurgents, and that new evidence had come to light indicating that Saddam Hussein's former deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, had been organising and paying for attacks against coalition forces, which have killed 177 soldiers (MEED 16:11:03).

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