US forces killed 11 militants during operations early on Thursday in the city of Kut, 170 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, the US military said.
The military said in a statement the operations targeted "special groups criminal networks," a term it often uses to describe members of the the Shi'ite Muslim Mehdi Army militia who receive weapons and funding from Iran.
The operation targeted a militant "reportedly responsible for attacks against coalition forces and supporters of coalition forces", the US military said.
US and Iraqi officials have attributed a sharp drop in violence throughout Iraq in part to a decision by firebrand Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to freeze the activities of his Mehdi Army militia for six months.
"We commend all those who honour Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire pledge," said Major Winfield Danielson, a US military spokesman. (Reuters)
US says 11 militants killed south of Baghdad