Published on: Monday, 14 November 2005
Operation Steel Curtain leaves 37 dead
US and Iraqi troops killed 37 rebels during a dawn strike on a town near the Syrian border on Monday in the latest phase of Operation Steel Curtain.
In the latest phase of the operation, US and Iraqi troops moved into the town of Ubaydi, on the banks of the Euphrates river, 20 km from the Syrian border.
"Five targets were struck by coalition air strikes resulting in an estimated 37 insurgents killed," a US military statement said.
"Preliminary reports indicate an estimated 25 insurgents have already been captured and are currently detained."
"The insurgents were engaging coalition forces with small arms fire at the time of the strikes.
"Insurgent fighters have been battling with Iraqi and coalition forces since the operation began at dawn," the statement said.
The operation saw some 2,500 US troops and 1,000 Iraqi soldiers sweeping through the towns of Qusayba and Karabila, clearing houses and battling with insurgents, in what the US military says is an offensive aimed at rooting out foreign fighters coming in through Syria.
US forces believe the border towns have been an entry point for insurgent fighters and weapons.