AP via NY Times:
U.S. warplanes launched airstrikes Tuesday near the Syrian border, destroying what the military described as three terrorist safe houses. Iraqi officials said fighting was underway there between tribes that support and oppose foreign fighters.This sounds similar to the strike last week in the same area where one of the Sunni tribes has been resisting al Qaeda's encroachment. It is also similar in that there are apparently no troops on the ground to do bomb damage assessment. It is likely, though that US intelligence has benefited from information supplied by the local Sunnis who have apparently sought US assistance. The AP or some other organization needs to get an embed in with the US units in the area where apparently something significant is happenening. Husaybah, Qaim, and Karaballah are all near the Syrian border where the enemy rat lines begin. This kind of disruption to the flow of jihadis should eventually have an effect in the rest of the Sunni triangle.
A U.S. statement did not mention tribal fighting but said four bombs were used to destroy a house occupied by ''terrorists'' outside Husaybah. Two more bombs destroyed a second house in Husaybah, occupied by Abu Islam, described as ''a known terrorist,'' the statement added.
''Islam and several other suspected terrorists were killed in that attack,'' the statement said, adding that the strikes began about 6:20 a.m. The statement said intelligence reports indicated several of Islam's associates fled his house in Husaybah for the nearby town of Karabilah.
''Around 8:30 a.m., a strike was conducted on the house in Karabilah using two precision-guided bombs,'' the statement said. ''Several terrorists were killed in the strike but exact numbers are not known.''
Update: More details from al Jazeera and Reuters.
Al Qaim hospital official said that more than 47 people died in the U.S. attacks, which destroyed two houses.
The U.S. military statement didn’t mention the tribal fighting but said four bombs were dropped to destroy a house occupied by what it said were "terrorists" outside the town of Husaybah.
The military said two more bombs destroyed a second house in Husaybah, inhabited by an alleged al-Qaeda operative known as Abu Islam.
"Intelligence leads Coalition forces to believe that Abu Islam and several of his associates were killed in the air strike," Reuters quoted a U.S. military spokeswoman as saying.
Many of Abu Islam's aides escaped for the nearby town of Karabilah, the military said.
"Around 8:30 a.m., a strike was conducted on the house in Karabilah using two precision-guided bombs," the statement said.
"Several terrorists were killed in the strike but exact numbers are not known."