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February 15, 2005

Top Iraq rebels prove elusive

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Intensified military raids in Iraq over the past few months have significantly battered the ranks of mid-level insurgents but have scored few gains against the 30 or so most wanted rebels, according to senior U.S. military officers here.

As much as a third of this group is thought to move in and out of Iraq with some frequency, the officers said. Many have eluded U.S. and Iraqi forces by a combination of moving constantly, avoiding use of telephones and receiving protection from family or tribal connections.

... More recently, Lt. Gen. John Vines, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps who took over last week as the senior U.S. operational commander in Iraq, has ordered a more focused approach to tracking high-priority insurgents. He calls it the "unblinking eye."

... Predator drones, manned reconnaissance aircraft and agents on the ground are massed against a particular target to ensure round-the-clock surveillance. Previously, commanders typically had use of these for only limited periods of time.


Posted by Hyscience at February 15, 2005 12:51 PM

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