Morning Report: May 10, 2005

US offensive kills 100 enemy. Debka reports: 'Largest US air-ground operation in Iraq in 6 months, Operation Matador, swept for third day through wide area abutting Syrian border on raids of desert outposts, sanctuaries and smuggling routes. Some 100 insurgents and al-Zarqawi’s followers killed. Americans have lost three Marines. Primary targets: al Qaim, Obeidi, Rommana and Karabilah.' The Belmont Club provides the following details: 'The Marine Battle on the Syrian border at which nearly 100 enemy have been reported killed now turns out to be a heavily fortified area. The Los Angeles Times has correspondent Solomon Moore approximately 4 km northwest (Rabit) from where fighting is taking place referred to in accounts as the Ramana-Obeidi area. ... It is in the cultivated zone right on the edge of the Al Jazira desert, about 5 km from the Syrian border. From the LA Times account, the Marines approached on the south side of the river, and took mortar fire from towns on the north side of the Euphrates. The Marines crossed the river, using bridging and assaulted into the town.' Read the post for full analysis, maps, and links. (Debka, Belmont Club)

More mass graves discovered. Ali at Free Iraqi writes: 'During the last couple of weeks I've seen on Iraqi TV, Al Iraqiya, reports about two other mass graves in Diwaniya and Samawa. It's believed that all these date back to the year 1991 during which the She'at and Kurds carried out the uprising against Saddam. I just want to say that these reports show that what has been discovered till now is probably the tip of an iceberg. I think the discovering of more mass graves in a short time lately comes as a result of the increasing number of reconstruction projects being started and to the rehabilitation done on and around some of the old government offices that were still untouched. In fact some of the old government offices and Ba'ath party headquarters are now occupied by homeless people who refuse to evacuate them despite repeated notifications and warnings from the government. It also seems to me that some westerns think that the mass graves contain all Sadam victims or at least the vast majority. This is of course not true ... ' Read the post for full details and Arabic links. (Free Iraqi)