THE HARD HAND OF WAR, II
America’s top general in the Middle East has warned community leaders the U.S. military will use stern measures unless they curb attacks against coalition forces, an Iraqi who attended the meeting said Monday.
Gen. John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command, delivered the warning to tribal sheiks and mayors in the ”Sunni Triangle” city of Ramadi west of Baghdad, according to Fallujah Mayor Taha Bedawi.
”We have the capabilities and equipment,” Bedawi quoted the general as saying at Saturday’s meeting.
The warning was another sign of a ”get tough” campaign against insurgents, who have accelerated attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in recent weeks. U.S. forces had eased off on raids during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in late October.
Hours after Abizaid’s warning, U.S. jets dropped three 500-pound bombs in the Fallujah area after three paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were wounded in an ambush. There was no report of casualties from the bombing.
Time for another deep breath, Kevin.