The jihad retreats. From AP:
FALLUJAH, Iraq – U.S. forces on Friday regained control of a southern city seized this week by a rebellious Shiite militia, the military said, while Marines halted offensive operations in Fallujah to allow negotiations as the first anniversary of the fall of Baghdad was marked by more violence.
U.S. troops fanned out across Kut, southeast of Baghdad, after meeting little resistance in the city, witnesses said, in a major foray by the American military into the south, where U.S. allies have struggled to deal with the uprising by the al-Mahdi Army, led by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
In Fallujah, Marines stopped offensive operations at noon, while a delegation of sheiks from the city met with Marine commanders, said Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, commander of the 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment.
“I would not describe this as a cease-fire. We are still aggressively defending our positions. However we have ceased offensive operations for now,” Byrne said.