United States Air Force combat aircraft let loose 40,000 pounds of explosives over the course of an airstrike carried out on the 10th January. The 10-minute long assault targeted areas around Baghdad described by the US military as âsafe havensâ for al-Qaeda, and involved Lockheed Martin F-16 combat jets and Rockwell B1b Lancer heavy bombers.
USAF Warplanes Dropped 38 Bombs on 40 Targets
The six aircraft (four F-16s, and a pair of B1bs) unleashed their weapons on 40 targets during 10 strikes, according to a statement issued by the military.âThirty-eight bombs were dropped within the first 10 minutes, with a total tonnage of 40,000 pounds,â it detailed.
These fell upon Arab Jabour â a district thought to be under the influence of al-Qaeda.
The statement added that a combined operation involving aerial and ground-based assets needed âextensive planning to prevent collateral damageâ.
Airstrikes Part of US Milâs Operation Phantom Phoenix
The airstrikes followed by a day a report by the US military covering the nine US troop lives lost during the initial hours of a new offensive, called âOperation Phantom Phoenixâ â of which the airstrikes were a component.
At the start of Operation Phantom Phoenix, the second in command in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, highlighted how allied forces will "continue to pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuaryâ.
He added: "We are determined not to allow these brutal elements to have respite anywhere in Iraq."
WHO: 151,000 Iraqis Killed Since 2003 US Invasion
The air assault also coincided with the release of a report by the World Health Organisation. Over a period starting with the initial US-led invasion in 2003, and ending in June 2006, 151,000 Iraqis had died a violent death, the WHOâs survey said. A large number of these took place in Baghdad.
According to those behind the report, however, the 151,000 figure cannot be considered entirely accurate. The true figure lies somewhere within the range 104,000-223,000.
Armed Forces International will continue to provide unrivalled coverage of the very latest news from Iraq, and especially 'Operation Phantom Phoenixâ, as we get the facts.
Source â Armed Forces Internationalâs US Correspondent
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