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Thu, Jan 10, 2008

US Warplanes Launch Massive Air Strike On Al-Qaeda Positions In Iraq

'Shock And Awe'... 2008

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 01.10.08 1700 EST: In one of the most intense air strikes to date in the nearly five-year Iraq war, on Thursday US aircraft unleashed a massive barrage of firepower against suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq safe areas south of Baghdad.

The Associated Press reports some 40,000 pounds of explosives were dropped in the 10-minute attack, which involved two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighters, according to military officials. The attack was reminiscent of the "shock and awe" campaigns from the early days of the war.

Targeted areas included the Sunni farmlands in in Arab Jabour, which Pentagon officials believe are controlled by al-Qaeda fighters. "Thirty-eight bombs were dropped within the first 10 minutes, with a total tonnage of 40,000 pounds," according to a Pentagon statement.

US and Iraqi troops launched a ground offensive in the region Tuesday, and returned following the air strikes. Little initial resistance was reported.

The amount of ordnance dropped in the attack roughly equalled what was been used in the region in any month since June of 2007, according to Major Alayne Conway, a spokeswoman for troops in central Iraq.

The attack "was one of the largest airstrikes since the onset of the war," Conway added.

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