The Iraq region bordering Syria is becoming increasingly lawless. It is coming under the control of Sunni Islamist militias, just as Basra is being controlled by Shi’ite Islamist militias. Here is an illustration of just how out of control large parts of Iraq are becoming: “U.S. Airstrikes Kill About 40 Insurgents,” from AP, with thanks to Skeet Street.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. fighter planes equipped with precision-guided missiles launched airstrikes on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border Saturday, killing about 40 insurgents who were stopping and searching civilian cars, the military said.
Seven missiles were fired at heavily armed insurgents near Karabilah, close to the volatile town of Qaim, the Marines said in a statement.
The insurgents were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers and had “set up a barricade on a main road to the city and were threatening Iraqi civilians,” the military said.
U.S. warplanes backed by helicopters started the airstrikes at 11:40 a.m. and ended them at 4 p.m. “once all the targets were destroyed,” the military said. About 40 insurgents were killed. The Marines suffered no casualties.
“The coalition aircraft and fighter jets and attack helicopters from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing attacked the insurgent compound and surrounding area targeting the armed men,” the statement said. “There are no reports of civilian casualties or collateral damage.”
It was unclear whether any foreign fighters were among the slain insurgents. The region is known as a haven for Islamic extremists crossing in and out of Iraq across the Syrian border to attack U.S. and Iraqi security forces.
The U.S. military launched two major counterinsurgent offensives in the area last month that killed an estimated 140 militants.
Since Thursday, insurgent attacks in Iraq’s volatile Anbar province have claimed the lives of seven Marines. The bodies of 21 slain Iraqi men, some beheaded and most shot in the head, were found Friday in three separate locations near Qaim…