Iraqi troops to launch anti-insurgence strategy

Iraqi forces backed by US troops will begin a neighborhood-by-neighborhood assault on militants in the capital this weekend as a first step in the new White House strategy to contain Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite death squads, key advisers to the prime minister said Friday. The first details of the new plan - a fresh bid to pacify the capital - emerged a day after US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke for nearly two hours by video conference. Both leaders were expected to detail their vision of a new strategy in the coming days. The al-Maliki aides would not address the scope of the planned new assaults nor where specifically they were planned.