Saturday, November 05, 2005

Improved security in Iraq

The biggest battle in more than a year is underway in Iraq.
HUSAYBA, Iraq, Nov. 5 - Thousands of American and Iraqi troops laid siege Saturday to this town near the Syrian border in the largest military assault since American-led forces stormed the guerrilla stronghold of Falluja last year, Marine Corps officials said.

The sweep, aimed at shutting down the flow of foreign fighters along the Euphrates River, began early Saturday as 2,500 American troops and 1,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, all led by the Marines, cordoned off roads around Husayba before rolling into town in armored vehicles and marching in on foot. . .

American commanders say Husayba has become a bastion for cells of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that claims credit for many of the deadliest suicide bombings of the war. . .

"It's a cesspool; it's time for this area to get cleaned up," Col. Stephen Davis, of the Second Marine Division, said of Husayba.
Meanwhile, here is some other good news.

We all want rapid progress in the security situation but, unfortunately, we are going to have to settle for incremental progress. But there should be no doubt that, overall, progress is being made. Let's hope the Husayba operation will represent another step forward.