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Huge US attack to crush Iraq rebels

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  • Huge US attack to crush Iraq rebels

    It was easy to spot the site that bore the brunt of American firepower.
    The scattered bricks, the gaping hole in the wall, the observation tower perforated by bullets - fired by the American tank that rolled insouciantly down the avenue of date palms and eucalyptus trees.

    And the fighters sweeping up the debris, untroubled by their battle with the world's most powerful army, were even claiming victory despite heavy losses.

    This was the scene yesterday at the checkpoint leading into Kufa, the town next to the Shia holy city of Najaf, after an intense battle on Monday night that signalled renewed US resolve to take on its foes in Iraq.

    Last night it was the turn of Falluja, centre of Sunni resistance to the coalition, as US aircraft and artillery pounded targets in the heaviest assaults in the city since a fragile truce took hold.

    Explosions and showers of sparks lit up the sky as US firepower homed in on what the military said was a hard core of resistance in the city's Golan district.

    Najaf and Falluja are presenting the Bush administration with big problems with little more than two months to go before sovereignty is to be transferred to Iraqis: by resorting to force to crush the rebellions, the military risks generating further alienation and opposition.

    "We were determined to stop them," said Abu Mathan, a member of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi militia, as he waved traffic over Kufa's bridge and across the Euphrates river.

    He said the Americans tried to enter Najaf on Monday evening: "We attacked them with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. They bombed us with jet fighters. We put up fierce resistance. At 2am they left."

    Rest of story:
    The Guardian

    insouciantly - i like the word :thumb:

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