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A U.S. soldier in Tal Afar (file photo)
12 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi and U.S. troops tightened their grip on the insurgent Iraqi town of Tal Afar today as insurgents melted away in the face of the firepower deployed by the 10,000-strong force.
U.S. troops continued to round up all men of fighting age in Sunni neighborhoods, after issuing an ultimatum on 8 September for male residents to leave.
Some 6,000 Iraqi and 4,000 U.S. troops were given the green light for an all-out offensive late last week after days of deadly clashes failed to dislodge the insurgents from the area.
The U.S. military said Tal Afar had become a major staging post for foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq.
"Operation In Tal Afar A Success, But For How Long?"