Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says he has given U.S. and Iraqi troops the go-ahead to rid the city of Fallujah of insurgents and "terrorists."
In a news conference (today / Monday) announcing a sweeping series of emergency regulations, Mr. Allawi ordered a curfew imposed on Fallujah and (the neighboring western city of) Ramadi, and said Baghdad's international airport will close for 48 hours.
The interim government chief said the curfew, airport closure and other emergency rules will begin at 6 p.m., local time, under terms of the 60-day state of emergency he announced Sunday.
Mr. Allawi also says tighter controls will be imposed on Iraq's borders with Jordan and Syria.
(The prime minister said Iraqi forces advancing on Fallujah took control of the city's main hospital today, killing 38 insurgents in the process.)
Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops are massed on Fallujah's outskirts, with U.S. artillery and warplanes pounding insurgent targets inside the city.