Wednesday, October 05, 2005

World News Article | Reuters.co.uk

World News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. Marines on Tuesday launched their biggest offensive this year against al Qaeda guerrillas in western Iraq, the military saying 2,500 troops attacked militants around Haditha.

Two months after the last push against Islamist fighters ended with al Qaeda still in control, to the dismay of locals alarmed by its Taliban-style rule over civilians, Operation River Gate aims to stop the group operating in Haditha and two nearby towns, Haqlaniya and Barwana, a military statement said.

As America threw its military might against Sunni Arab insurgents, the United Nations spoke up for Sunni politicians in urging the Shi'ite-led parliament to alter a ruling that angered the minority by raising the hurdle to their, probably vain, bid to vote down a new constitution at next week's referendum.

Describing it as 'moving the goalposts at the end of the game', a U.N. official told Reuters he expected parliament to meet on Wednesday to reverse a decision that had raised the prospect of a new Sunni boycott of the electoral process.

That would be a major setback to U.S. efforts to draw the once dominant minority into Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein politics."

Nation building.

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