Accessibility links

New US Iraq Offensive Targets Sunni and Shi'ite Militants


The U.S. military launched a new offensive across Iraq Monday to crack down on Sunni and Shi'ite militants.

The military says Operation Phantom Strike consists of simultaneous operations against al-Qaida terrorists and what it calls "Iranian-supported" extremists.

The U.S. military also says one American soldier was killed in fighting today in a western part of Baghdad.

Earlier, it said coalition forces captured a suspected financier of a militant group with direct ties to Iran before dawn in western Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Iraqi political leaders are considering a call by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a meeting to heal divisions that have weakened his unity government.

Mr. Maliki said Sunday that he hoped to gather the leaders of Iraq's sectarian factions for a meeting by Tuesday.

In another development, officials in Baghdad say an Iraqi court will open a third trial into alleged crimes committed by Saddam Hussein's deposed government.

Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali," and 14 other defendants will face charges in the brutal crushing of a Shi'ite uprising after the 1991 Gulf War. The hearings are set to begin August 21.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG