Go get 'em boys!
BAGHDAD (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi forces fanned out in the volatile Diyala province Tuesday in a new operation aimed at clearing al-Qaida in Iraq from safe havens in an area considered the last major insurgent belt around the capital.
New checkpoints were erected across the province and authorities ordered a ban on unofficial traffic as search operations got under way in the provincial capital of Baqouba and surrounding areas, according to witnesses. Many residents said they were afraid to leave their houses.
The U.S.-backed Iraqi military is hoping to build on recent security gains from similar offensives against Sunni insurgents in the northern city of Mosul and Shiite militiamen in Baghdad, Basra and Amarah.
The troops were focusing on chasing al-Qaida and other insurgents who sought refuge in Diyala to escape earlier crackdowns, said Gen. Ali Ghaidan, the commander of Iraqi ground forces in the province. (more at Onenews)