Maliki Announces Transfer of Security Operations in Basra

Iraqi forces will soon take control over Basra, the second largest city in Iraq.

USAID partner, Save the Children, is working with community leaders to identify projects, both large and small, that will benefit the local community, including the rehabilitation of the Shatt Al-Arab Kindergarten in Basra, Iraq. The project was funded under a grant from USAID and contributions from the community. (USAID)

The following two articles translated by American-Iraqi Haider Ajina show the positive developments in Iraq that you may have missed in the mainstream news.

Village residents lead troops to caches
Sunday, 08 July 2007

Soldiers from Company C,4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division were led to a series of 12 weapons caches July 6 by a local informant in Qarghuli Village, Iraq, near the site of the May 12 attack. The caches contained mortars, rockets and improvised explosive device-making materials. U.S. Army photo by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs.BAGHDAD — Residents of a village south of Baghdad, long a terrorist hot spot, led U.S. forces to major weapons caches near their town July 6.

Local villagers from Qarghuli took Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y., to a series of 12 caches – and the insurgents responsible for them.

A local man who claimed to have knowledge of a large cache complex approached the patrol and walked the Soldiers from site to site, pointing out each cache. He then took the patrol to two men, whom he said were responsible for collecting and hiding the weapons…

The area where the caches were found is approximately one kilometer from the site of the May 12 attack where four U.S. Soldiers and an Iraqi soldier were killed and three U.S. Soldiers were captured. One of the Soldiers was later found dead in the Euphrates River, the remaining two are officially listed as “missing-captured.”

Residents, fed up with the violence plaguing their neighborhood, have repeatedly revealed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in the area to patrolling Soldiers.

Two Iraqis associated with the caches were detained by the Soldiers and taken into custody for questioning.
(U.S. Army story by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs)

The following story was reported at the Voices of Iraq website:

Iraqi PM says Iraqi forces ready to receive Basra security file
Baghdad – Voices of Iraq

Baghdad, July 10, (VOI) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraqi forces are ready to receive the security file for Basra province by next September.

“Al-Maliki said during his meeting with the defense committee in Britain’s House of Commons that Iraqi security forces have started to be responsible for maintaining security in Basra and the British forces will play a supporting role in this context,” a statement of al-Maliki’s office said, received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

“He called for boosting cooperation between Iraq and other countries which pass over security to other development, investment and reconstruction fields,” the statement added.

The premier asserted during a phone call with his British counterpart Jordon Brown last Thursday that the Iraqi forces are resolved to receive the security file in Basra in three months, calling for activating coordination between British forces and Iraqi security forces.

Britain has 5,500 soldiers deployed in Basra within the Multi-National Forces after it withdrew 1,600 troops during the past three months.

500 more soldiers will be withdrawn from southern Iraq by September according to plans announced by the British government.

Haider Ajina comments:

Iraqis are having enough of the terrorists, be they Alqaida, religious extremists, or former Baathits, especially in the eight provinces under provincial Iraqi control.

These eight provinces are showing strong economic development and growth. They are relatively calm as well as improving the supply of electricity and water. Infrastructure and schools are being developed. Growing religious tourism is bringing in unexpected revenue. These provinces are being given the OK from Baghdad to develop their own oil exploration and infrastructure contracts, etc. These provinces are a good example of what well trained Iraqi security, coupled with locally elected government and citizen participation can do in Iraq. The final southern province of Basra, home of Iraq’s second largest city, and Iraq’s only seaport, is coming under provincial control very soon. Once this happens the whole south will be under Iraqi control.

Regards,
Haider Ajina

In other related news today: Iraqi forces arrested major terror cell leaders in Kirkuk and Samarra.

And, the surge is working, by the way.

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