U.S.: Jets flatten al Qaeda hideouts

Military says 38 bombs dropped in 10-minute strike, making it one of the biggest airstrikes of the war.

BAGHDAD – U.S. bombers and jet fighters unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives on the southern outskirts of Baghdad within 10 minutes Thursday in one of the biggest airstrikes of the war, flattening what the military called safe havens for al-Qaida in Iraq.

The massive attack, carried out above approaching U.S. and Iraqi troops, was part of Operation Phantom Phoenix, a nationwide campaign launched Tuesday against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Maj. Alayne Conway, a spokeswoman for troops in the Multi-National Division-Center, which controls the broad swath of territory south of Baghdad, said the amount of ordnance dropped in 10 minutes nearly exceeded what had been dropped in that region in any month since the U.S. military surge began in earnest in June 2007. Continue reading…

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