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IRAQ - Aug. 11 - US Force Target Saddam Loyalists.

The US army launch a new operation to hunt guerrillas loyal to Saddam Hussein in remote villages north of Baghdad. Lt.-Col. William Macdonald of the 4th Infantry Division said Operation Ivy Lightning would use Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks and mechanised infantry to hunt Saddam loyalists who may have fled to remoter areas after hundreds of US raids around Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. He said: "Ivy Lightning is a surgical strike in remote towns... to isolate and capture no-compliant forces and former regime loyalists who are planning attacks against Coalition forces". The operation will focus on the area around Qara Tappa, around 80 miles north of Baghdad. MacDonald said intelligence reports suggested senior Saddam loyalists may have moved there after weeks of US raids around Tikrit. Saddam remains on the run despite a $25m price on his head and the killing of his sons Uday and Qusay in a US raid last month on their hideout in the northern city of Mosul. Meanwhile, the US military said one soldier was killed and two wounded on Aug. 10 in a bomb blast in Baquba, a restive town which lies north-east of Baghdad. Three other soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a combined bomb and rocket-propelled grenade attack near the town of Shumayt, north of Tikrit. Guerrilla attacks have killed 56 US soldiers since Washington declared major combat over on May 1. Most of the attacks have been concentrated in Baghdad and in the "Sunni triangle" north and west of the capital. Operation Ivy Lightning is the 5th operation launched by US forces to root out resistance since major hostilities ended.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 16, 2003
Words:269
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