US Launches Major Iraq Air Assault ...
No doubt this story will be changing by the hour as the day - and days go by. Especially as the spin machine begins lying and changing bad news into good, falsifying figures, facts, etc and the most sensitive stuff slowly disappears for ever down the memory hole.
Therefore I'm merely going to give you the BBC header and link, for now.
Perhaps this thread may grow into a cross between a record/archive of the news as & when it comes in from different sources, contributers, etc - and one of those 'open threads' so many of the big-boy bloggers seem to increasingly use.
Also, those who do pray may want to say some special prayers right now. Others may 'hold in the light'. Whatever -- I'm sure you all have your own ways of wishing ... and wanting ... and hoping ..... and wishing ....... etc.
US launches 'major Iraq assault'
The US military says it has launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, targeting insurgents near the central city of Samarra.
More than 50 aircraft and 1,500 Iraqi and US troops have been deployed in the operation, a military statement says.
A bomb attack on the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, 100km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, last month sparked widespread sectarian violence.
There are no independent reports of Thursday's offensive so far.
The US military said the assault, dubbed Operation Swarmer, was intended to "clear a suspected insurgent operating area" north-east of Samarra.
The operation is expected to last several days......