US troops help Iraqi military battle al-Qaida

The U.S. military says American troops have helped Iraqi security forces battle suspected al-Qaida militants north of Baghdad. Iraqi officials say five Iraqi troops were killed in the two-day operation.

The U.S. military says Iraqi soldiers and police called for help after they came under fire while searching for suspected militants and locating weapons sites across the two northern provinces of Diyala and Salaheddin.

The U.S. military said Tuesday that American troops provided air and ground support against “a determined and well-armed enemy” dug into trenches in a palm grove outside Diyala’s provincial capital of Baqouba.

The Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.