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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi troops backed by U.S. Marines have seized Falluja's main hospital, the first step in what is expected to be a major push to retake the city from insurgents, hours after a 60-day state of emergency is imposed across most of the nation.
Gunfire and artillery echoed across the town overnight Sunday, but it remained unclear when the bulk of the U.S.-led force outside Falluja would begin moving.
The hospital -- on the western edge of the city -- was taken by the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion with only minor resistance late Sunday, according to a pool reporter.
Originally posted by geocom
According to sources this appears to be the first step in the long awaited and more likely than not lengthy battle.
The U.S. military reported its first casualties of the offensive — two Marines killed when their bulldozer flipped over into the Euphrates River. Ten Iraqis were killed and 11 others injured during the night of fighting in Fallujah, according to doctors.
Originally posted by cstyle226
God willing the Mujahideen will be able to repel the occupation forces.
TNEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - Two Marines were killed early Monday in Fallujah, the U.S. military said, making them the first casualties in the American-led offensive to retake the insurgent-held city
The two Marines drowned when their bulldozer flipped over into the Euphrates River, the military said.
Their bodies were discovered at 8 a.m. in the river, the U.S. military said.
Their names were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
U.S. forces stormed into the western outskirts of Fallujah early Monday, seizing the main city hospital and securing two key bridges over the Euphrates river in what appeared to be the first stage of the long-expected assault on the insurgent stronghold, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - Backed by a barrage from warplanes and artillery, American troops fought their way into the western outskirts of Fallujah on Monday, seizing a hospital and two bridges over the Euphrates River in the first stage of a major assault on the insurgent stronghold
The U.S. military reported its first casualties of the offensive — two Marines killed when their bulldozer flipped over into the Euphrates. A military spokesman estimated that 42 insurgents were killed across Fallujah in the opening round of attacks.
Four foreigners, including two Moroccans and two unidentified people, were captured when U.S. and Iraqi forces swept into the first objective: Fallujah's main hospital, which the military and Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said was under insurgent control.
I think the US has to win this one at all cost but how many casualties can we at home stomach??
Originally posted by Slanty
Yup, the end to these animlas kidnapping and killing people there to help them. most these insurgents arent even from iraq. its like a coalition force of muslim terrorists from around the world.
I have the same gut reaction. I believe, at one point, the insurgents DID mention that they were planning on using " a form of weaponry unused as yet" if we should invade Fallujah. I've really fought my own gut instincts on this and, reading your post, as made me think, once again, that this is a real possibility.
Originally posted by GrndLkNatv
I have the strangest feeling in my gut that these marines of ours are really going to be in trouble during this invasion of Fallujah. I just have this gut check saying chemical weapons are going to be let loose and people are going to die by the thousands.