Tal Afar's Sunni Mayor, Mohammed Rashid has resigned in protest over the U.S forces led offensive in the town near the Syrian border. He complained
that the operation is targetting Sunni Neighbourhoods and does not believe that the offensive will solve the issues in the town. A border crossing
near the town has been closed with bans introduced on weapons and the entry of foreigners. Thousand of residents have been displaced due to the
fighting between the U.S Forces and "insurgents".
The Defence Minister says 140 insurgents have been killed and nearly 200 arrested in Tal Afar in the past two days. "The problem is sectarian," he
said. "It cannot be solved through military operations. It should be done through negotiations and cooperation with the leaders of Sunni and Shiite
Secretary general of the Iraqi Red Crescent, Mazeen Asaloom, says fighting between US troops and insurgents in Tal Afar has displaced thousands of
people in the past two weeks.
"At 2 am today (2200 GMT), acting on my orders, Iraqi forces commenced an operation to remove all remaining terrorist elements from the city of Tal
Afar," he said in a statement.
State television ran fresh footage, however, of more arrests and soldiers moving through a town that US troops have seized in the past before
"As part of continuing security efforts, we have decided to close the international border with Syria, and mainly at Rabiah," Interior Minister
Bayan Jabor said, reading a statement by Mr Jaafari on television.
Meanwhile, the US military said an air strike destroyed an "Al Qaeda safe house" in Ubaydi, in western Iraq, claiming that a "senior Al Qaeda
terror consultant and foreign fighter facilitator known as 'Sheik' is believed to have been in the house at the time of the attack."
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Is the US taking sides with the Shiites and in fact as said in the article attacking only Sunni neighbourhoods? If in fact this is a sectarian issue
as the man says, discussions between the sects should be taking place instead of this attacking and killing.
[edit on 10-9-2005 by Mayet]