Reuters reports this morning that Marines intend on clearing out Ramadi, one of the last cities still controlled by Islamofascist terrorists in Iraq and presumed to be a source of the latest round of terror attacks:U.S. forces launched a major security operation around Ramadi on Sunday, saying they hoped to restore order to a western Iraqi city which has been in rebel hands for much of the past year.
Troops from the 1st Marine expeditionary force, backed up by Iraqi security forces, imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in and around the city, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, as part of what has been dubbed Operation River Blitz.
The operation "is designed to target insurgents and terrorists who have attempted to destabilize the Anbar province by terrorizing the populace through wanton acts of violence and intimidation," the U.S. military said in a statement.
So far, from the data in this report, the operation appears preliminary. The Marines have imposed a curfew and have sealed off the town, but still are allowing inspected traffic to flow in and out of the town. The Marines will conduct recon-in-force patrols throughout the city and conduct some hard searches where intelligence directs them, and since the terrorists up until yesterday walked around openly with their weapons, they shouldn't be all that difficult to find, at least at first.
The operation name implies, however, that the US sees the mission as similar to the one which pacified Fallujah and crushed the network of terrorists in the so-called City of Mosques, the one that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had bragged would never fall to the US. The operation also has a wider scope than Ramadi. It centers on the well-known hub of terror operations but includes a number of towns on the Euphrates, casting a wide net and preventing any easy avenues of escape.