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August 8, 2005
This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

The American military made some significant progress today when it discovered a facility in western Iraq used for building car bombs. Marines found a total of eleven unexploded devices in a town in the Anbar province where terrorists have planned and executed suicide attacks on Iraqi and American forces:

U.S. Marines discovered a car bomb factory Monday in a western Iraqi town near where 20 members of the American unit were killed last week, the U.S. military said.

Six vehicles rigged with explosives were found in the hideout in the northern part of Haqlaniyah, one of a cluster of towns in western Anbar province long believed to be a stronghold of Iraqi insurgents and foreign fighters.

"All of the rigged vehicles were destroyed and secondary explosions were observed by the Marines," a Marine statement said.

U.S. and Iraqi forces also found five roadside bombs Monday on a road in Haqlaniyah, the statement said. All were detonated in place, it said.

Twenty Marines died in two engagements around Haqlaniyah over the past week, six from small-arms fire and 14 from a car bomb like the ones they discovered today. The Marines have not halted their mission through Haqlaniyah despite the losses suffered last week, and that effort paid off today. The Marines have eliminated eleven attacks on Coalition and/or Iraqi forces in the coming days.

The Anbar province has strategic significance for the terrorists, as it gives them access to the Syrian border and allows for transit in and out of Iraq to evade Iraqi and American patrols. Shutting down their access to Anbar will help isolate the foreign elements inside Iraq and cut off their lines of communication. If the intercept from the Mosul "emir" to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is legitimate, the pinch the terrorists have already felt will eventually strangle their efforts altogether. Without fresh recruits taking the place of the suicide-attack volunteers, the terrorists will have to take much more risk in order to carry out attacks -- and again, if the Sayd note gives any genuine indication, that prospect doesn't appeal to Michael Moore's courageous "Minutemen".

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2005 12:53 PM

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Tracked on August 9, 2005 12:27 AM

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