11-8-04 - NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) The assault on Fallujah is under way. US and allied forces are hitting the Iraqi city with warplanes and artillery. Troops seized several targets and Iraqi troops captured 38 insurgents. Iraq's prime minister today OK'd an assault, saying he's "determined to clean Fallujah of terrorists."
Ayad Allawi says militants have left officials with no other options "but to take the necessary measures to protect Iraqi people from these killers and liberate Fallujah."
He says US and Iraqi troops will restore the "rule of law" to Fallujah "very soon." He adds militants there are not interested in a peaceful settlement and he's accusing them of using mosques and hospitals as refuges.
His words come as the military says Marines have already "gained a foothold" in Fallujah.
Allawi also says the country is closing its border with Syria and Jordan for the time being and is shutting down the international airport in Baghdad.