CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq -Iraqi Army soldiers and Marines, Soldiers and Sailors with Regimental Combat Team -2 began a new phase of Operation Al Hajip Elfulathi (Steel Curtain) today by entering the town of Ubaydi.
Ubaydi, located on the banks of the Euphrates River, is only 20 km from the Syrian border, and was the site of Operation Matador last May.
Insurgent fighters have been battling with Iraqi and Coalition forces since the operation began at dawn.
Five targets were hit by Coalition air strikes. The insurgents were engaging Coalition Forces with small arms fire at the time of the strikes.
Preliminary reports indicate and estimated 25 insurgents have already been captured and are currently detained.
Several improvised explosive devices and mines have also been discovered so far in the operation.
The towns of Husaybah and Karabilah were cleared earlier in the operation and permanent Iraqi-U.S. presence has been established.
Operation Steel Curtain differs from Matador in the respect that a permanent presence of Iraqi and U.S. forces will be established in the city.
The goals of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore Iraqi sovereign control along the Iraq-Syria border and destroy the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating throughout the Al Qa’im region.
This offensive is part of the larger Operation Sayaid (Hunter), designed to prevent al Qaeda in Iraq from operating in the Euphrates River Valley and throughout Al Anbar and to establish a permanent Iraqi Army presence in the Al Qa’im region.
Initial story: Operation Steel Curtain Launched by U.S. and Iraqi Forces and links to all the updates we have.
Source: Multi-National Force-Iraq