Iraq: US launches major offensive against al-Qaida

American and Iraqi forces launched a major offensive Saturday near the porous Syrian border aimed at destroying al-Qaida in Iraq's ability to smuggle in foreign fighters, money and equipment through the region. The US military also announced that two soldiers were killed by insurgents in other areas of Iraq on Friday. The "Operation Steel Curtain" offensive in the town of Husaybah by about 2,500 US forces and 1,000 Iraqis soldiers - including local forces acting as scouts - will remove insurgents from the western province of Anbar ahead of Iraq's parliamentary election on Dec. 15, the US military said.
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