U.S. Offensive Kills 75 Near Syria - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/9/05-Baghdad

U.S. Offensive Kills 75 Near Syria

According to the military, coalition and Marine Corps aircraft and forces from the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines are involved in the fighting in Iraq's Anbar province.

"The operation is currently on the area north of the Euphrates River, in the Al Jazirah Desert. The region is a known smuggling route and sanctuary for foreign fighters," the military said in a statement. "The offensive is aimed at eliminating insurgents and foreign fighters from the area," the statement said. The military made no mention of U.S. casualties. Earlier Monday, a suicide car bomb detonated at a police checkpoint in southern Baghdad, killing at least four people -- two police and two civilians -- and wounding eight others, police said. The wounded include six police and two civilians. Three people inside the car also. died.

Government appointments Insurgent attacks have risen in recent weeks even as the Shiite and Kurd-dominated parliament reached out to Sunnni Arabs on Sunday, approving four more of their number to serve in the government. The ministries of defense, industry and human rights are to be headed by Sunnis, and a newly named deputy prime minister is a Sunni. The defense minister will be Sadun al-Dulaimi, a Sunni. The Oil Ministry will be headed by a Shiite, Ibrahim Bahrululum. Hashem al-Shibli, a Sunni who was tapped to be the minister of human rights, refused the post, saying he did not believe Cabinet positions should be allocated based on ethnic or religious affiliation.

Last month, transitional Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced all 36 Cabinet positions in the new government -- some of them temporary. The new Cabinet members were sworn in one by one last Tuesday -- altogether 28.

The transitional government's main goal is to write a constitution that must be put before voters in a referendum this year. But scores of people have been killed in a string of attacks since Iraq's Cabinet was sworn in on April 28. 1,600 U.S. casualties Total U.S. troop casualties in the Iraq war passed 1,600 Sunday  when two soldiers were killed near Khaldiya and a third died in Samarra. All three were killed by roadside bombs, the U.S. military said.

To date, 1,602 American forces have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

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