The border is used by al-Qaida to smuggle money, weapons and terrorists into Iraq. About 3,000 forces (Iraqi and American troops) have been deployed around the 30,000 people settlement of Qusayba (Husaybah), 200 miles west of Baghdad.
This is part of an effort to ensure a safe and fair voting next month.
U.S. Marines statement:
"The objectives of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore security along the Iraqi-Syrian border and destroy the al-Qaeda terror network operating throughout Qusayba."
"(It is) designed to deny al Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate in the Euphrates River Valley and to establish a joint permanent security presence along the Syrian border. By eliminating terrorist influence in and around Qusayba, coalition and Iraqi security forces are providing a safe and secure environment to allow the Iraqi people in that region to vote in the upcoming Dec. 15 national elections."
A warning has been found on a mosque warning of the retaliation to come for Operation Curtain Steel.
Qusayba is in the Anbar region, along with the now famous cities of Ramadi and Falluja.
Omar Obaidi, a 45-year-old government employee:
"We think that they are targeting us, the Sunnis, not Qaeda."
"We are in the third day of Eid. We are leaving the town not for fun but to save ourselves from death. Instead of having my family for a picnic in an amusement park, I am taking them out of the town, walking and expecting death every moment."
"Let Bush see how he created a generation that hates the Americans."
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