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U.S., Iraqi Forces Launch Major Najaf Assault

Fighting intensifies in Najaf, as U.S. and Iraqi forces begin a major offensive to crush a weeklong insurgency by militia loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. U.S. forces began the pre-dawn assault by cordoning off Najaf's cemetery and shrine of Imam Ali. Hear NPR's Steve Inskeep and NPR's Ivan Watson.

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Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.