11 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Thousands of Iraqi soldiers backed by U.S. troops are continuing their offensive to wrest control of a city close to the Syrian border from insurgents.
The U.S. military say the city of Tal Afar has become a major staging post for foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq. Iraqi and U.S. troops launched their assault on the city yesterday after days of fighting in the area.
The U.S. military said it had also launched a joint operation with Iraqi security forces against a suspected Al-Qaeda stronghold in Rutbah in the western province of Al-Anbar.
A U.S. soldier was killed and two others wounded today by a roadside bomb in Samarra, north of Baghdad.
Meanwhile Britain's Ministry of Defense said a British soldier was killed and three injured today near the southern city of Al-Basrah.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, police said three roadside bombs injured eight people.
(AFP/dpa/Reuters)For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".