More Good News From Iraq- 237 Dead Terrorists
Besides the good security news as a result of the US Surge, there is also Good Economic News coming from Iraq.
An Iraqi Oil and Gas Summit is scheduled for the first week of September.
Participators sit down during the First Iraq Business and Investment conference in Dubai August 29, 2007. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends the following two articles with positive news from Iraq:
From MNF-Iraq.com (Multinational Forces Iraq)
BAGHDAD — Two Coalition representatives held a press conference at the Combined Press Information Center Wednesday. 8/29/07
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, commanding general, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman talked about recent events in Iraq and the road ahead.
Bergner mentioned progress around Iraq. Operations in Tarmiyah resulted in the death of Abu Ibrahim, an al-Qaeda in Iraq leader who oversaw terrorists’ operations in the northern belts of Baghdad. He died after he grabbed a Coalition Soldier and attempted to detonate a suicide vest. Bergner said Ibrahim was an al-Qaeda emir for Tarmiyah who coordinated VBIED attacks in Baghdad and also led al-Qaeda in Iraq operations in the Taji area.
“He kidnapped and murdered Iraqis including a nine-year-old girl to intimidate local citizens,” Bergner said, noting that Ibrahim’s group is likely responsible for the April 12th bombing of the Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad.
“This operation is just another example of the importance of operating simultaneously against the networks in Baghdad and the belts outside the city where terrorists like this are positioning themselves,” Bergner said.
Bergner introduced Dubik, noting his achievements as commander for I-Corps and the 25th Infantry Division. Dubik took command of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq in June, where he oversees the Coalition’s assistance to the Iraqi government in developing, organizing, training, equipping, and substantiating Iraqi Security Forces.
“There is no one better prepared to assist the Iraqi security forces to transform, to grow in capacity, and to continuously adapt to the new realities here on the ground,” Bergner said.
Dubik said his role in the war effort focuses less on fighting forces and more on “ministerial capacity.”
“That is the ability to raise, to equip, to train and sustain, to provide bases and to provide adequate funding for the security forces over the long term,” Dubik said.
Dubik said there has been progress and challenges on this front. From 2005 to 2006, the ministries of defense and interior spent more than $2.5 billion more on defense of Iraq than the year before. There was another $2 billion increase in 2006. The ministries continue to deal with many challenges, but Dubik said they, along with Coalition forces, will keep pushing on.
“These are all very hard problems. No doubt about it,” he said. “But as my boss had said sometime ago, ‘hard doesn’t make it hopeless it just makes it hard.’”
(Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew McLaughlin, Combined Press Information Center)
A member of El Salvador’s VIII Cuscatlan battalion holds up a U.S. flag at the airport in Comalapa, August 30, 2007, as he arrives back in his home country after a tour of duty in Iraq. (REUTERS/Alex Pena)
From Azzaman on 8/30/07:
237 insurgents killed in Diyala
By Salah Abdullah
Iraqi and U.S. forces have killed 237 insurgents and arrested more than 300 suspects in military operations to pacify the restive Province of Diyala.
The operations started on June 19 and are reported to be still continuing. The pressure on anti-U.S. rebels and Qaeda elements in the province is reported to have forced them to flee to other areas.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Rubaie, the Iraqi commander of the operation, said more than 7,000 troops are taking part in the fighting and that there have been ‘good gains on the ground.’
He did not say whether Diyala, until very recently a major anti-U.S. stronghold, was currently under full government control.
But Rubaie said 35 new ‘security centers’ have been established in the province and that 3,821 volunteers have registered to work with the local force to police the region once the troops withdraw.
“We are working closely to intensify the security effort in areas that have witnessed military operations recently and in which the troops have succeeded in eliminating all aspects of armed presence,” Rubaie said.
He said the troops uncovered weapons dumps in the province including artillery shells, explosive charges, mortar shells and other light weapons.
A major find, according to Rubaie, was a factory where insurgents manufactured explosive charges.
Haider Ajina comments:
Two articles showing the extent of the progress we are making in training Iraqis to take charge of their own security. They also show the extent of the progress we are making with the Iraqis to combat terrorism and crime.
In addition to Alqiada, the Baathists and Iranian backed disruptive elements, there is the criminal element. This criminal element is strongly enhanced by Saddam opening the prisons as we liberated southern Iraq back in 2003. This released not just the political prisoner it also released the hardened criminals. This is an additional wrinkle in the security of Iraq.
Earlier this week the Mehdi Armi has been frozen (told to stop all operations) by its founder Muqtada Alsadder and there is evidence of them have dispersed from even Sadder city (their place of birth). Their offices have been shut down. Muqtada ordered this for at least 6 months. There is much hope that this should calm the fears of the Sunnis in Iraq who have accused the Mehdi army of ethnic violence. What this will result in is not clear. It should definitely contribute to increased calm in the southern provinces. I am sure the next few months will tell.
Iraqi civilians continue to turn in terrorists, their hide outs, their factories and weapons cashes. Not a day goes by without this happening. It is daily in the Iraqi papers.
Recently, a Public Affairs officer within Multinational Force-Iraq privately expressed his concern to me that the media were spikin
g or deliberately misrepresenting reports made by the military about Iranian involvement and the capture of Persian fighters within Iraq.
“We would arrest three members of the al Quds force (part of the Revolutionary Guard), and the story that would come out in the papers the next day would be, ‘Three Iranian diplomats arrested from embassy.’ I’d call the folks at the papers and say, ‘Look, these folks weren’t diplomats, and they weren’t at an embassy. They’re Iranian soldiers and they were taken while fighting against the coalition in Iraq.’ I’d say to them, ‘We have evidence – from weapons to ID cards to uniforms – that proves beyond a doubt who and what they are,’ and I’d offer to bring them in and walk through each piece of evidence with them.
“They’d never take me up on it, and would never correct their stories.”
** Jeff Goldstein has the complete roundup of media bias on the war.
MTC has more on the latest body counts.