Sunday, September 11, 2005

US and Iraqi troops launch huge assault on northern insurgent stronghold

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
....Tal Afar is a mainly Turkoman town of 200,000 people, most of whom have fled, west of Mosul.
The US and the Baghdad government have long believed that Tal Afar is a staging post for insurgents entering Iraq from Syria. But Turkomans and Sunni Arabs in the town see themselves as under pressure from the Kurds. The town has been governed by a Shia city council and police force since the fall of Saddam. US troops captured Tal Afar last year but then withdrew, allowing the resistance to re-establish control......