10 September 2005 -- Reports from the northwestern Iraqi town of Tal Afar say Iraqi and U.S. troops are engaged in a major offensive to expel insurgents.
Iraqi Defense Minister Sad'un al-Dulaymi, said today that some 150 insurgents had been killed. He said five Iraq soldiers had died.
Al-Dulaymi's figures could not be independently confirmed.
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari gave the go-ahead yesterday for a major assault on Tal Afar after days of deadly clashes failed to dislodge the rebels from the town.
The U.S. military says Tal Afar, near the Syrian border, has become a major staging post for foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq.
(AFP)For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".