Good News from Iraq Report- The Weekly FishWrap
Monday, April 16, 2007
LT Fishman sends along his weekly open source report on positive happenings in Iraq, The Weekly Fishwrap.
Islamic Army of Iraq” Splits from Al Qaeda Bill Roggio
The largest Sunni insurgent group has severed ties with al Qaeda and its Islamic State of Iraq; Sunni religious leaders oppose al Qaeda The Sunni civil war in Iraq continues to gather steam. The Islamic Army in Iraq, the largest Sunni insurgent group which has previously operated closely with al Qaeda in Iraq, has severed ties with the terror group after several months of infighting, Al Jazeera reported today. Ibrahim al-Shammari, an Islamic Army in Iraq spokesman, "told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the Islamic Army in Iraq had decided to disunite from al-Qaeda in Iraq after its members were threatened.""In the beginning, we were dealing with Tawhid and Jihad organisation, which turned into al-Qaeda in Iraq," Al-Shammari explained. Specifically after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died, the gap between us [and al-Qaeda] widened, because [they] started to target our members... They killed about 30 of our people, and we definitely don't recognise their establishment of an Islamic state - we consider it invalid." Evidence of the split between the Islamic Army in Iraq and al Qaeda began to appear early this year. Mishan al-Jabouri, the owner of Al Zawraa - or Muj TV, which is the propaganda television station for the Islamic Army in Iraq, lashed out against al Qaeda in February of 2007. Jabouri aired a laundry list of complaints against al-Qaeda and its puppet Islamic State of Iraq. the grievances included:
in Iraq has divided the Iraqi people, failed to protect the Sunnis and brought
the Shia death squads down on the Sunnis by inciting sectarian violence through
mass suicide attacks. 2) The Islamic State of Iraq in Iraq wants the Sunni
groups to "pledge allegiance" to leaders, ministers and emirs whose
identities are unknown, including Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. 3) Islamic State of
Iraq has continued to conduct an extensive campaign of assassination against
rival sheikhs, emirs and insurgent group leaders, and in many cases added
insult to injury by failing to give the bodies back to the families. One of
al-Jabouri's own messengers was executed. 4) The Islamic State of Iraq has no
system of law or justice.
5) Weapons and ammunition are being confiscated from insurgent groups that do not support the Islamic State. 6) Al-Qaeda in Iraq is intentionally targeting members of the Iraqi Army and police forces, who al-Jabouri and other insurgents believe are acting in the best interest of Iraqis. 7) The goal of the Islamic State of Iraq is to serve as a stepping stone to attack other nations, which is not in the interest of the Iraqi nation.
1) Video: American Marines working with Iraqi Army http://www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil/public/InfolineMarines.nsf/0/061F44B33316023A432572AF004413C9/
“We are seeing constant
progress. We can’t leave them”
Earlier this week, Nibras Kazimi noted that the Islamic Army in Iraq, via a press release on its website, launched a "vicious rhetorical counterattack against Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and its recent statements and actions." "This communiqué came a day after Sheikh Hamid al-Ali issued a fatwa (Arabic) casting doubts over the validity of giving allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)," notes Mr. Kazimi. Prior to this statement al Qaeda had accused the Islamic Army in Iraq of "collaborating with the Mossad, being in Saudi Arabia’s pay, and negotiating with the Americans." Al Qaeda also branded "other jihadists who have not pledged allegiance to [Abu Omar al-Baghdadi] as seditionists." This split between al Qaeda and the Islamic Army in Iraq comes as a grouping of influential Sunni clerics banded together to oppose al Qaeda. "Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarrai told Reuters the 'council of ulama of Iraq', set up by a founding committee of 40 prominent religious scholars in Amman last week, was prompted by a need for balanced fatwas – religious edicts – within his community as violence grew in Iraq." "It's high time our clerics unify their utterances. Religious scholars have to work on teaching Muslims respect for the others ...," he said referring to radical Islamists with ideological links to al Qaeda... "Our scholars will meet and issue fatwas and I am full of hope the proper resistance that does not kill fellow Iraqis will heed the views of these scholars,' said al-Samarrai. "The authentic resistance considers the blood of Iraqis as sacrosanct. But those who masquerade as resistance and for whom the lives of Iraqis are cheap – this is not resistance against the occupier, this is terror...," he added.It should be clear the Islamic Army in Iraq and the council of Sunni scholars are by no means friends of the United States. Both groups view 'resistance against the occupier' as legitimate. And the Islamic Army in Iraq has some preconditions for negotiations that are unrealistic: a time line for U.S. withdrawal and direct negotiations with the U.S. Congress, not the Bush administration. The reason for their need to classify 'resistance against the occupier' as legitimate, though distasteful to Americans, is key for their withdrawal from the insurgency. The Islamic Army in Iraq and other insurgent Sunni groups need an 'out' to lay down their arms. As long as they are classified as terrorists or their actions are judged as criminal, there is no reason to end the fighting. There are no optimal solutions in ending an insurgency - the most practical solution to end the Sunni insurgency is to cause the it to fracture and turn on itself. This is essentially what has happened in Anbar province. Significant elements of the 1920s Revolutions Brigades and Jaysh Mohammed formed the Anbar Salvation Council in conjunction with several Sunni tribes, and are now actively hunting al Qaeda in Iraq, with the help of the Iraqi security forces and U.S. military.
3) Baghdad Security Plan Seeing Many Successes http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=32727 By Melinda L. Larson American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2007 –
The success of combat outposts and joint security stations within the Baghdad
area have been so successful that there is talk of increasing the number of
combined Iraqi and coalition force stations, according to U.S. Army Maj. Gen.
William Caldwell IV, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. Fifty-four of the 75
outposts and stations are operating in the capital, and the number could rise
to 102, Caldwell said today during a combined press briefing in Baghdad with
Iraqi Army Brig. Gen Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Baghdad Security Plan.
“Together we are making progress but it’s going to take time. I can see it and
I can feel it on the streets,” Caldwell said. The dynamics within the capital
have changed since the Baghdad Security Plan began Feb. 13. The plan called
Fardh al-Qanoon, an Iraqi phrase that means “Enforcing the Law,” includes
initiatives to split Baghdad into 10 districts and create joint security
stations in the capital city. “There are more Iraqi security forces along with
coalition forces out on the streets who are living out there now. They have
proven very successful in providing much greater security,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell quantified the statement by adding there’s been a 26 percent decline in the number of murders and executions in
Baghdad between the month of February and March, and a 60 percent reduction
during the last week of March and the first week of April. Caldwell
cautioned that it is not yet a trend. “We’re very encouraged by that positive
sign but it does not mean we’ve achieved an end state yet. We still have a long
way to go and that has to be sustained over a long period of time to really
change the dynamics,” he said Caldwell made it clear the last of five brigades
scheduled to arrive for operation Fardh al-Qanoon won’t be in place until June.
“We’re still at the beginning of this plan,” he added. With the security plan
placing Iraqi and coalition forces in the neighborhoods, it means they are more
accessible to citizens and that has brought another success, he said.
“We’re working toward building contact with the people and that is going to lead to confidence building,” Caldwell said. “The amount of tips that have started to come in from Iraqi citizens has gone up exponentially over the past couple of weeks because the people are starting to develop the trust and confidence in knowing that the security forces will respond to them when they call.” Some of the security stations have set up phone numbers so calls can be taken directly at the station and forces can react more quickly, he added. In addition to engaging the citizens of Iraq with local security forces, a free press is also critical to the country, Caldwell said. A recently opened radio and television station in the volatile Diyala province northeast of Baghdad means citizens can be informed. “The opening of the radio and television station in Diyala was a major step forward,” Caldwell said. “There’s now the ability for the Iraqi press to talk with and engage with the people up there. That’s another important aspect because ultimately the solution for anything here is not just the military, it only sets the conditions to allow for a political solution.” Caldwell also took a moment to thank the press for their contributions. “I appreciate the risks that you take and the sacrifices you make on a daily basis,” he told the reporters at the briefing. “A free press is absolutely essential if we’re going to keep the Iraqi people informed as to what’s going on. Thank you for your service to your country and what you do for your people.”
4) Coalition troops kill and arrest 246 insurgents in Baghdad
http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=1722613&Language=en 8 April 2007 Kuwait News Agency BAGHDAD, April 8 (KUNA) -- Troops of the Multi-National Force (MNF) have recently captured and killed 246 terrorists in Baghdad, an official spokesman said on Sunday. Qassem Atta, the official spokesman of the law enforcement plan, said at a news conference that the MNF troops killed 41 terrorists, arrested 232 others, in addition to 446 suspected insurgents, from March 27 to April 7. Haitham Abdullah and Haider Rasheed, wanted for killing 900 people and wounding 4,000 others, were among the insurgents who were detained, he said. The forces freed 26 kidnapped people and confiscated 104 chlorine tanks in Alatham area north of the capital. Atta said his forces confiscated a large cache of concealed arms including 518 weapons, 198 explosives and 10 booby-trapped cars.
4B) Parliament Bombing backfires by uniting Iraq's MPs http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/15/wirq15.xml By Robert Watson and Aqeel Hussein in Baghdad, UK Sunday Telegraph
14/04/2007 The bombing of Iraq's parliament by suspected al-Qaeda militants appears to have backfired by uniting Sunni and Shia politicians against a common enemy.An alliance of Sunni insurgent groups that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, in which an MP died and more than 20 other people were injured. Shia parliamentarians had previously voiced disquiet at the security threat posed by their Sunni colleagues, claiming that many of those protecting Sunni MPs had links to al-Qaeda. But at an extraordinary session of the parliament on Friday, politicians from both sides condemned the suicide attack and vowed to press forward with the political process, calling for unity against extremism. There were also signs that Sunni insurgents had had enough of their erstwhile al-Qaeda allies. "They have realised that those people are not working for Iraq's interests. They realised that their operations might destroy Iraq altogether," said Alaa Makki, a Sunni MP. Other politicians indicated that the bombing had worked against al-Qaeda. "The relationship between [Sunni and Shia MPs] is better than before, because now they have agreed to fight terrorism together," one commentator noted. Officials say three people, believed to be workers in the cafeteria where the bomb went off, have been detained. The government has been rallying the tribes of Anbar province in the western desert against al-Qaeda, which appears to have made a tactical error by targeting tribal leaders who had been reluctant to join their bombing campaign against Shia civilians. The result has been a wave of clan-based retribution against the foreign terrorist network in the Sunni heartland.However, US and Iraqi forces also have to contend with growing frustration in the ranks of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which has been ordered to collaborate in the security clampdown in Baghdad. Yesterday, a senior official in the Sadr movement, which holds six cabinet posts, warned that it was on the verge of withdrawing from the government because of Baghdad's close ties to Washington. Meanwhile, British forces in Basra killed eight gunmen laying mines in an area where four British soldiers and their civilian translator were killed by a roadside blast last week.
5) Japan Pledges 850 Million Dollars to Iraq Oil Industry
SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI/AFP/Getty http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2276/Maliki_Secures_850_Mill_Japanese_Loan
Tokyo, JAPAN: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, (L), speaks to Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso (R) during their meeting in Tokyo, 09 April 2007. Nouri al-Maliki, currently on a four-day tour through east Asia, secured a $850+ million low-interest loan from Japan to fund the construction of an oil export facility.Japan is entirely energy dependent on imported oil, so has obvious national interest in boosting Iraq's petroleum output.The money wil finance the building of an oil facility connecting pipelines in the southern province of Basra, as well as fund fertiliser and oil refinery plants and help improve electricity, according to the Japanese foreign ministry.The loan is part of six billion dollars in debt waivers and 1.5 billion dollars in aid which Japan announced for Iraq in 2003. Much of the aid is on hold due to concerns about instability.Reuters is reporting that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe also told Maliki that Tokyo was ready to provide Iraq with another $510 million in loans, part of the overall pledge, to help finance the restoration of water and sewage treatment, power supply and other facilities.
6)Neighborhood watch program success in Muqdadiya http://www.mnfiraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11253&Itemid=128
MUQDADIYA — A neighborhood watch program has begun to show signs of success since its formation March 5. The program, which includes 15 villages throughout the Muqdadiya district, hires local villagers to protect their village and encourages the population to contact their security forces on criminal or terrorist activity.“ The idea is - to protect the village and to clear it from the armed people and insurgents,” said Dr. Abdulla al Jubouri, the former governor of Diyala and founder of the program. Since the program began, Jubouri said there have been several signs of success to include roads free from improvised explosive devices, fighting stopped between what used to be rival villages, schools are re-opened, electric and water services have been repaired.“The neighborhood watch program has put positive energy into the security of Muqdadiya,” said Lt. Col. Keith Gogas, 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron Commander, responsible for Coalition forces in the Muqdadiya area.“People from all around Muqdadiya have been emboldened by the hard work and sacrifice of Dr. Abdulla, Mayor Najim and many local leaders working to secure this area of Diyala,” Gogas said. “This area is beautiful – full of hard-working, patriotic people who deserve the freedom this security plan gives them.”Aside from providing security, the neighborhood watch program is important because it provides jobs for local citizens who are often poor and persuaded to turn to the terrorists to support their families, said Mayor Najim, Muqdadiya mayor.“The cycle of violence that has existed in the province of Diyala is being defeated by the people who are disgusted and disillusioned by the hatred provided by the terrorists,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and senior U.S. Army officer in Diyala. “The people recognize the fact that their place in a free and democratic society is their future and ultimately lies in their hands, and cannot be achieved unless there is stable security and government, which enable progress.”The neighborhood watch program has also encouraged many citizens to join the Iraqi Police and approximately 1,000 citizens want to join the Iraqi Army, Jubouri said.“It’s a good idea and I hope it will be done in more than one area,” Najim said. “I hope once the security is improved and jobs start to open, that people will participate in the political process and other people will follow.”The goal is to support the security plan by encouraging the districts to follow in the footsteps of Muqdadiya, Jubouri said. And while attacks on Jubouri himself have shown that the terrorists dislike the neighborhood watch program, he and the people refuse to accept defeat.
“[Terrorist attacks] are not going to stop us,” he said. “[We will keep going] until we make sure Diyala is secured.” Iraqi National Police Col. Baha, brigade commander of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Division, Iraqi National Police (5/2 NP), addresses the concerns of a local gentleman while on a dismounted patrol in the Karkh District of Baghdad, Iraq, March 28. The police are conducting a presence patrol of the neighborhood to foster a closer relationship with the residents of the area.
7) Iraqis fly first helicopter training sortie
Pilot set to qualify for combat flight Thursday
By Erik Holmes - Staff writer Wednesday Apr 11, 2007 11:25:57 EDT
TAJI, Iraq — The Iraqi air force on Tuesday flew its first helicopter training sortie outside Taji Air Base, and an Iraqi helicopter pilot Thursday is set to become the first qualified to fly in combat. The training sortie, flown by two Huey II helicopters from the Iraqi air force’s 2nd Squadron, is a landmark for the fledgling air force, which has been training with a team of about 100 American advisors. It included live-fire weapons training with Russian machine guns mounted on the aircraft. The 2nd Squadron is slated to begin flying combat missions in early May, said Capt. Shane Werley, the chief American adviser to the squadron. “The significance is that we’re going to be taking missions from the [Army’s] 1st Cavalry [Division at Taji],” Werley said. “The bottom line is we’re getting these guys back in the fight.” The American advisers are from the Coalition Air Force Transition Team, which has around 250 personnel — almost all U.S. Air Force — helping train and rebuild the Iraqi air force. Taji Air Base is an Iraqi installation inside the perimeter of Camp Taji, the largest American helicopter base in Iraq. Taji is about 15 miles north of Baghdad.
8) Marine General: Anbar Province Getting Better
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/04/09/international/i125404D55.DTL By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer Monday, April 9, 2007 (AP) -- The long U.S. effort to stabilize western Iraq, a hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency, has reached a turning point with new prospects for success, the top Marine general said Monday."I think, in that area, we have turned the corner," Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, said in an Associated Press interview as he flew back to Washington after four days in Iraq.His assessment of Anbar province marks a sharp departure from the view that prevailed for much of the past four years, a time of deadly battles with the Sunni insurgency and of local alienation from the Shiite-dominated national government in Baghdad.As recently as last fall, the top Marine intelligence officer in Anbar reported dim prospects for securing the province and little likelihood of the U.S. military persuading the Sunnis — who lost national power when Saddam Hussein fell — to quit the insurgency.Conway also said in the in-flight interview that the Marine Corps is studying how it could sustain into 2008 the higher troops levels that President Bush ordered in January. He said it was likely that five Marine Reserve infantry battalions that already have served in Iraq would be remobilized and sent again.Of about 35,000 U.S. troops in Anbar, about 25,000 are Marines.There is still much violence in the province.Last Friday, while Conway was in Iraq, a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas crashed into a police checkpoint in the provincial capital of Ramadi, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, police said.And two days earlier, gunmen abducted 22 Shiite shepherds who were tending thousands of sheep and had wandered into the area.Three U.S. troops were reported to have died in the province during the week.Still, on his visit Conway was told by numerous American commanders throughout Anbar that the tide had shifted against the extremist group al-Qaida in Iraq when Sunni tribal sheiks who previously opposed U.S. forces decided to start cooperating instead.Some commanders said the extremists' key misstep was to interfere with the locals' black market trading, which al-Qaida co-opted in order to finance itself. Anbar stretches west from Baghdad to the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.The new cooperation has enabled U.S. forces in recent months to clear extremist elements from even the most violent areas, including Ramadi, and to put more Iraqi forces on the streets, Conway was told. Cooperation by the sheiks also has quickly created a Sunni police force in areas where none existed before.Conway, dressed in his desert flight suit, noted that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has cautioned against "happy talk" about short-term improvements in Iraq that might not be sustained."I was guardedly optimistic in December," before Bush ordered an extra 21,500 American combat troops to Iraq, including 4,000 Marines to Anbar province, Conway said. Four months later he said he sees a decisively improved situation in Anbar, adding, "That's not too optimistic or too much `happy talk.'"Conway's weeklong trip took him from one end of the province to the other, and to Baghdad for meetings with the top U.S. commanders and Iraqi defense officials.Barry McCaffrey, a retired Army general who has been a critic of the Bush administration's approach to the war, wrote in an assessment for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after visiting Iraq last month that he found in Anbar a "real and growing groundswell of Sunni tribal opposition" to al-Qaida in Iraq."This is a crucial struggle and it is going our way — for now," McCaffrey wrote.Conway noted that if Anbar is getting better, that does not necessarily translate to success in Baghdad, where the situation is more complicated with sectarian violence that does not exist in Sunni-dominated Anbar."The message has been the same the whole time," he said. "Suddenly they are responding to it. We used to say, `Why do you allow these foreigners to come in and kill your women and children? Where are you, the men of Iraq? Why do you allow that to happen?' We just couldn't get a response."The response now in places like Qaim, a Euphrates River town on the Syrian border, is to strike back against the extremists, to move toward local Iraqi control of policing duties and to work with U.S. forces. That does not mean Qaim is fully secure or that U.S. officials are certain the trend will continue.The indications of improvement in Anbar are not uniform. In Rutbah, a town of about 20,000 people 100 miles east of the border with Jordan, al-Qaida is still able to intimidate the local population against fully cooperating with U.S. forces. The town has no mayor, and there are fewer than 10 Iraqi soldiers — and no Iraqi police — on duty. Forty newly trained police are due this month.Conway said he was encouraged to hear from Brig. Gen. John Allen, the No. 2 Marine commander in western Iraq, that he has begun bringing together international businessmen and Iraqi government representatives to discuss investment prospects in resource-poor Anbar, including possible oil exploration deals."Possibly we're on the verge of something very important there," Conway said.If Conway's upbeat interpretation of recent developments in Anbar proves correct it will raise questions about the intelligence assessments last summer and fall of Col. Peter Devlin, who was the top intelligence officer at Marine headquarters in Anbar. Devlin reported that the political and security situation was grim and getting worse, and he said there was almost nothing the U.S. military could do to stop the insurgency. "I think Colonel Devlin was wrong," Conway said in the interview.
9) Iraqi Sunnis set up fatwa body to combat al Qaeda
09 Apr 2007 17:33:12 GMT
Source: Reuters http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L05319511.htm
By Suleiman al-Khalidi AMMAN, April 9 (Reuters) - Mainstream Sunni Muslim clerics in Iraq have formed a body to issue edicts aimed at curbing the influence of al Qaeda militants whose activities kill civilians, not only foreign troops, a leading cleric said on Monday. Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarrai told Reuters the "council of ulama of Iraq", set up by a founding committee of 40 prominent religious scholars in Amman last week, was prompted by a need for balanced fatwas -- religious edicts -- within his community as violence grew in Iraq. "It's high time our clerics unify their utterances. Religious scholars have to work on teaching Muslims respect for the others ...," he said referring to radical Islamists with ideological links to al Qaeda. Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq wields influence in several western and central provinces. Its militants are gaining support by their preaching in a country beset by U.S.-led foreign troops and sectarian fighting with Shi'ite militia. But their indiscriminate killing of civilians and a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam have alienated traditionally minded tribal leaders and escalated a power struggle in Sunni ranks. Suicide bombings by Sunni militants have not only killed Shi'ites indiscriminately, but also have been directed at fellow Sunnis seen as collaborators with the Iraqi government or U.S.-led forces. Samarrai, who ran a state body that oversaw Sunni religious sites in Iraq but was fired last February for criticising Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Islamist, said extremist groups who killed on flimsy evidence must be fought. "They kill by suspicion and commit senseless bloodletting and boast about it ... Whoever kills a Muslim believer should be penalised by going to Hell," he added. The new grouping includes some of the most illustrious Sunni scholars in the first such body to be formed since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sheikh Abdul Malik al-Saadi, Iraq's leading Sunni cleric who is regarded as the de facto mufti of the community, will head a group within the council that was empowered with issuing fatwas drawing on Islamic beliefs and sharia (Islamic law) doctrine. Samarrai said he believed Iraq's mainstream nationalist insurgent groups that focused their energies on fighting U.S troopsm, and not on fellow Iraqis, would regard the scholars' edicts as their sole religious authority. "Our scholars will meet and issue fatwas and I am full of hope the proper resistance that does not kill fellow Iraqis will heed the views of these scholars," he told Reuters. "The authentic resistance considers the blood of Iraqis as sacrosanct. But those who masquerade as resistance and for whom the lives of Iraqis are cheap -- this is not resistance against the occupier, this is terror...," he added. The prominent cleric said the council's composition of top religious advisers enjoying the right credentials would ensure their fatwas conformed to Islamic law. Preachers and scholars would not be silenced despite a campaign of intimidation by hardliner clerics adhering to uncompromising interpretations of fundamentalist Islam. "Scholars should speak and not have fear of anyone but Allah (God). We have to speak out and say that blood is precious. We will stand against those who have no value for human life and speak out against them openly," Samarrai added.
10) Iraqi Military adds more Inspectors General
By U.S. Navy MC2 Elisandro Diaz, MNTSC-I Public Affairs
Apr 9, 2007 BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi military added 41 to its growing cadre of
Inspectors General last month. The group graduated from the Inspector General
course run by the Ministry of Defense. These newly trained officers will join
52 who graduated from the first course last fall. Attending the course were
representatives of the Joint Headquarters, the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Air
Force."This course helps to build the new Iraqi Army - the inspector
general is a diagnostic tool to target and help the army progress,"
explained Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Dhahir, Joint Forces Inspector General.
Although the course has only been held twice, instruction has been modified
between courses."We visited the divisions with the purpose of preparing
the locations so the inspectors can do their job," Dhahir said.Dhahir
described how he garnered division-level support for the program before the
most recent course began and integrated their feedback into course instruction."Before
we started the second course, I visited every division commander to explain
what our goals were and how the capabilities learned here will help the
division commander improve his division and this helped prepare the way," he
said.Dhahir cited trust is a major component of the relationship between the IG
and the division commander and staff."The inspectors will return to the
same division that they come from - where they have a history of working that
makes it easier to build up the trust that is needed for the inspector to help
the commander improve the division," Dhahir said.Australian Army Brig Gen.
Roderick West, Commanding General, Joint Headquarters Transition Team,
addressed the inspectors a day before graduation on the importance that trust
will play in their role as military inspectors general."You will have a
role to play as the people gain trust in the Iraqi Army, you are the role model
and everybody will be looking at you to see how you enforce and maintain the
standards - your behavior must be the best at all times," West said."Your
role is not to be the police or a spy but to help your unit to maintain the
standards...you report directly to the division commander, you work for the
division and on occasion, you talk for them," West said.Dhahir noted that
since trust is integral to the inspectors fulfilling their duties those
officers taking on that role must meet certain criteria to become an inspector
general. "The officer must have experience, active duty longevity, come
from a staff officer level position and have a good reputation of honest and ethical
behavior," Dhahir said.Another area of improvement has been in the
organization of the program itself. Whereas the first course was run by
Coalition forces it is now run by the Iraqis.According to Richard Taylor, the
Coalition's senior advisor to the Military Inspectors General, the program is
entirely Iraqi-led, run and organized."The Iraqis have taken the course
and moved it to this location (in Baghdad) where they can teach, house and feed
the students," said Taylor.Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Al-Zahavi, one of the
officers who attended the second course noted a fundamental difference between
the present system and that used under the former regime. According to Al-Zahavi,
both systems have benefits and drawbacks.
"We try to take the good from both systems to help develop the Iraqi
Army," he said.
He contrasted how the program has evolved since it existed under the previous
regime in two areas - issues resolution and the relationship between the
inspector and the commander."The ... purpose of the program is to identify
the problem in order to solve it, this is regardless of command rank - everyone
is on the same level," Al-Zahavi said.
There is also a big change in the support the inspector general has from the
"The IG lives with them and is a part of the unit," Al-Zahavi said.Dhahir
noted that it is a program that will continue to play an integral role in the
development of the army's capabilities and growth."The next step for us is
to follow up to see how the inspectors are performing in the field,"
Dhahir said."We are presently focusing on division-level training
readiness evaluation with those who went through the first course. Are they
taking the lead in the areas of administration, human resources, visiting
detainees and receiving soldiers' complaints? Are the inspectors are reporting
the problems up the chain of command to the right party to help their divisions
solve the issue?" Dhahir asked. "Our biggest complaint right now is
soldiers' pay. There are many soldiers who have reported not getting
paid," he said. "This could be due to clerical mistakes or a lack of
thoroughness or another issue at some point in the payment disbursement
process." He says the pay problem is a frustrating issue not only for the
soldier who is relying on the money to feed and support his family but also for
the army because many soldiers have left the army for this reason."(In the
case of payment), the inspector takes the issue to the Ministry of Defense
every month to discuss ways to resolve it," Dhahir said, we still have
problems but not as high as before." According to Dhahir, while the
inspector general has seen great progress in its acceptance, it is just the
beginning of a program that will continue to be part of the further development
of the armed forces. "The soldiers are ready to fight but we must take
care of them," Dhahir said.
11) And now, good news from Iraq http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0704080338apr09,0,350710,print.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed
By Dennis Byrne Chicago Tribune April 9, 2007: Iraqi coalition forces have shut down a major network
of car bombers that was responsible for the deaths of at least 650 civilians.
Its eradication, along with the elimination of another terrorist network and three car-bomb factories, is the latest positive news coming out of Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces there, also reported the recent capture of "more than the usual numbers" of weapons caches. One consisted of more than 120 improvised explosive devices, some of which were the "particularly lethal" anti-armor munitions being used against U.S. troops. Perhaps you're wondering what a straight news story is doing here, in a commentary section. It's because there doesn't seem to be enough room in the media's straight news sections to report positive developments in the Iraq war. So, as a reader service, I am writing a news story involving the possible saving of at least 120 GIs' lives.
This story is based on a PBS interview of Petraeus by Jim Lehrer and reporting by Sharon Behn of The Washington Times. (Yes, I know that liberals consider the Times to be a hopelessly biased conservative rag, much as many conservatives consider The New York Times to be a hopelessly biased liberal rag.) For what I can tell, no one reported Petraeus' comments with this emphasis."There have been some encouraging indicators in Baghdad, in terms of a reduction in sectarian murders," he said. "There have been some families returning; there have certainly been revivals in the markets," which he called one of the main measures of progress. He particularly noted the return of "tens of thousands" of Iraqis to an enormous, vibrant, milelong market because of increased feelings of security. "... [T]here are soccer leagues out here. The national soccer team is on its practice fields. There are signs of normality in Baghdad, albeit, again, in a city that may have been hit by violence on that given day." He pointed to a "major development" in Anbar province, a place that "many were ready to write off as a lost cause.""[A]ll of a sudden you have cities all the way from the border, Al Qaim through Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah, where tribes have volunteered for the Iraqi security forces." He said it is a "stunning development and reflects the frustration that the Sunni Arab tribes in Anbar have had with Al Qaeda and what Al Qaeda has done to them, to their sheiks, their families, their young men and, frankly, to their businesses and livelihoods. It has really had a devastating effect. And they have said, 'No more,' and stood up and voted with themselves and with their young men."Petraeus corrected Lehrer's misimpression that large numbers of troops had been pulled out of the countryside to protect Baghdad. Actually, coalition forces are taking on the enemy as they have migrated out of Baghdad, as expected, pursuing them to new fronts.Asked about how he can see any "progress" in the doubling of deaths among Iraqi police, Petraeus said, "One thing it tells us is that Iraqi security forces, certainly, are on the front lines and are fighting and dying for their country. They are committed to this endeavor." Meanwhile, the Iraqi government, noting the success of recent raids on death squads, eased the Baghdad curfew to 10 p.m. The action came as some Iraqis hailed the improved security. One woman, Layla, noted that shops were beginning to reopen on the shell-pocked main street of her neighborhood, which once bustled with juice stands, coffee shops, hamburger restaurants and small kitchenware stores.So, where's the bad news in the story? Just as so many stories don't report the good news, I'm leaving out the bad. It seems only fair when The New York Times, for example, reported Petraeus' comments deep in a story headlined: "Bush Acknowledges Americans Weary of Iraq War." And only briefly, missing the positive comments. In the news business, what's "normal" isn't usually reported because, by definition, it isn't news. Unless it is in a country that is supposedly in ever-deepening chaos. Then the rare appearance of normality, indeed, should be news. But the appearance of normality in Iraq doesn't get reported. Maybe that means that the media consider the increasing normality in Iraq the norm. Or maybe it's just bad reporting.
12) Iraqi Stock Exchange offering guarantees to foreign dealers
IRAQdirectory.com - [07/04/2007] http://www.iraqdirectory.com/DisplayNews.aspx?id=3573 Observers speculated that the invigoration of the stock
market in the Iraqi Stock Exchange during the recent circulation sessions,
particularly after the announcement of adopting guarantee mechanisms for the
circulation of non-Iraqi investors in the market, may be the beginning of good
reception for future transactions compensating the massive losses incurred by
stockholders last year, and which resulted from the implications of the
security situation, absence of the mechanisms that enhance investment activity
and respond to the requirements of the economy market. Executive Director of the Iraqi Investment Bank, Hamza Hilboon, said that
circulation indicators will reach high levels with the start of operating the electronic transaction, early next September,
expecting a qualitative development in the circulation, with the entry of
non-Iraqi investors. He pointed out
that the recent sessions of the Stock Exchange recorded an encouraging start to
various sectors, especially the banks’ shares which maintained the top
circulation by very high percentage for a long period. Executive Director of Ashour International
Bank, Zuhair Al-Hafiz, expected that the anticipated positive shifts in the
Iraqi Stock Exchange will possess an important part of the Arab and
international bourses observations, in light of the desire of Arab and foreign
investors to circulate in the Iraqi market of securities, reflecting the
increased interest in this promising field.
IRAQdirectory.com Team Iraq Daily Business Updates
16) Al Anbar Province Security
Conference http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11293&Itemid=128 No.
April 9, 2007 Multi-National Force – West PAO CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq – The 7th Iraqi Army Division Headquarters hosted the Al Anbar Security Conference here today to discuss security and transition in the province with leaders from the Government of Iraq, Al Anbar and Iraqi Security Forces. The Minister of Defense, Abd al-Qadir al Mufriji, Minister of Interior, Julad al-Bulani, and National Security Advisor, Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubbaie were briefed by the Provincial Director of Police and commanders from the 1st and 7th Iraqi Army Divisions
and 2nd Brigade of the Division of Border Enforcement. The joint security conference
promoted the transition to provincial Iraqi security control and cultivated the steps
necessary to achieve this goal. Representatives from the Iraqi Ground Forces Command in Baghdad and the Provincial Joint Coordination Center, which is collocated here with the 7th Division, were also in attendance.Multi National Corps - Iraq and Multi National Force - West commanders offered security and transition assessments as well as their continued support towards provincial Iraqi control. The conference was a continuation of the dialogue Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki began with the leaders of Al Anbar during his visit here March 13.
17) Iraq in the Balance http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009926
In Washington, panic. In Baghdad, cautious optimism.
BY FOUAD AJAMI Wall Street Journal Wednesday, April 11, 2007 BAGHDAD--For 35 years the sun did not shine here," said a man on the grounds of the great Shia shrine of al-Kadhimiyyah, on the outskirts of Baghdad. I had come to the shrine at night, in the company of the Shia politician Ahmed Chalabi. We had driven in an armed convoy, and our presence had drawn a crowd. The place was bathed with light, framed by multiple minarets--a huge rectangular structure, its beauty and dereliction side by side. The tile work was exquisite, there were deep Persian carpets everywhere, the gifts of benefactors, rulers and merchants, drawn from the world of Shi'ism. A traveler who moves between Baghdad and Washington is struck by the gloomy despair in Washington and the cautious sense of optimism in Baghdad. Baghdad has not been prettified; its streets remain a sore to the eye, its government still hunkered down in the Green Zone, and violence is never far. But the sense of deliverance, and the hopes invested in this new security plan, are palpable. I crisscrossed the city--always with armed protection--making my way to Sunni and Shia politicians and clerics alike. The Sunni and Shia versions of political things--of reality itself--remain at odds. But there can be discerned, through the acrimony, the emergence of a fragile consensus.
18) COALITION FORCES CAPTURE AL QAEDA IN IRAQ SECURITY EMIR OF ARAB
JABOUR MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ
COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER BAGHDAD, Iraq http://www.mnf-iraq.com703.270.0320 / 0299 COALITION FORCES CAPTURE AL QAEDA IN IRAQ SECURITY EMIR OF ARAB JABOUR BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces captured five suspected terrorists including the suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq security emir of Arab Jabour during an operation Wednesday morning.Intelligence reports indicate that the security emir is suspected of involvement in planning attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces in the Arab Jabour area.Coalition Forces found several small arms at the targeted area and these weapons were destroyed to prevent future use by terrorists.
Mahdi Shia gunmen die in British Basra fightback http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=35TNSFWYCLS4BQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/04/12/wiraq12.xml
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent April 12 British forces have hit back at Iraqi insurgents who killed six colleagues last week, by launching an operation in which they shot dead more than 20 gunmen of Basra's rogue militias. Details of the assault emerged last night as the bodies of four soldiers killed by a roadside bomb on Thursday were put on flights back to the UK. They arrived at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire this morning for a repatriation ceremony. The attack began when a battalion-size force was sent into one of the southern city's toughest terrorist strongholds, three miles from where four soldiers, including two women, were blown up in their Warrior armoured vehicle. An armoured force of 400 troops from the 2Bn The Rifles and 2Bn The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, both of which suffered fatalities last week, entered the Shia Flats area on the western outskirts of Basra to search for hidden weapons. The district is notorious as one of the most dangerous in southern Iraq. "We wanted to make quite clear there's nowhere in Basra we cannot go," a British commander told The Daily Telegraph yesterday. "We are prepared to be there in daylight and take whatever comes our way. We are not being bombed out or intimidated." Initially there was no response as the troops began searching homes where they recovered some small arms. But then the atmosphere changed. "It was all going very well but then there was a sense something bad was about to happen as we noticed children starting to speak into their mobile phones and point at us," the commander said. "At this stage it became clear that the militia was massing for some kind of attack." As the troops took up defensive positions around their Warrior and Bulldog armoured vehicles, Iraqi gunmen carrying AK47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades could be seen scurrying along rooftops and down streets. It is believed ammunition and hundreds of weapons are hidden in the area and brought into the open at short notice when the British appear. Intelligence sources also informed the troops on the ground that Shia terrorists were heading towards them from other parts of the city. The battle began on Tuesday afternoon with numerous rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire hitting the British positions. The soldiers from the Rifles and Duke of Lancaster's held off the attacks for more than two hours and shot a number of gunmen. There were no British casualties as they gradually fought their way back to their base at Basra Palace. Coalition jets also made low flying passes to intimidate the enemy although they did not drop any bombs. During one skirmish two attackers, who fired grenades at a British position, were chased down and arrested. Both are likely to face charges. Commanders believed that some of the dead might have been behind the ambush of a Warrior in which 2nd Lt Joanna Dyer, a close friend of Prince William at Sandhurst, and three other soldiers were killed. A sniper, possibly from Shia Flats, also killed two other soldiers earlier last week. "This was at a location where we believe those responsible for killing our people were almost certainly recruited from," a military source said.No civilians are believed to have been killed in the fight, the military reported, although it could not rule out innocent casualties caught in the crossfire."While we may regret that such incidents have to take place, we will not allow militia gunmen to control parts of Basra," said Lt Col Kevin Stratford-Wright, the British military spokesman in southern Iraq. "There are no 'no-go' areas for multi-national forces in Basra. Security is our responsibility and, in conjunction with the Iraqi security forces, we seek to provide as secure an environment as possible. This will inevitably involve taking on the rogue militia who blight the lives of people in Basra."
20) Iraqi Army Acquires New Troop
http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2007/april/11_04_4.html BAGHDAD [MENL] -- The Iraq Army has acquired U.S.-origin light armored vehicles. The army's 6th Division has received 40 new troop carriers at the Taji Army Base. The Badger light armored vehicles arrived on March 31 in the first shipment of 398 Badgers ordered in early 2007. Each LAV costs $390,000. The first Badgers went to the 6th Division's 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade for deployment in Baghdad for the counter-insurgency Operation Law and Order. The Badger can transport 11 soldiers and two crew members, and contains a V-shaped structure designed to deflect blasts. "This vehicle can take us into the red zone [in Baghdad]," Iraq Army Sgt. Mohammed, a Badger driver, said.
21) Insurgents to negotiate with US; there is "gap" with
By DPA http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/printer_1290206.php
Apr 11, 2007, 23:23 GMT Amman - A spokesman for an Iraqi insurgent group said Wednesday that his group was willing to negotiate with the United States if the power withdraws from the country. Ibrahim al-Shemmari, spokesman of the predominantly Sunni Iraq Islamic Army (IIA), also said in an interview with al-Jazeera television that there was a 'widening gap' between his group and al- Qaeda forces in Iraq. And he claimed that insurgent forces have killed 25,000 Americans - a number that is disputed by carefully kept US figures. Al-Shemmari described his group as including 'faithful elements' from the dissolved Iraqi army but excluding 'all Baathists.' The Sunni insurgency formed after the ouster of president Saddam Hussein in 2003, who had ruled Iraq with an iron hand that kept the minority Sunnis in control over the majority Shiites. Since then, all-out lethal conflict has broken out between the Sunni insurgent forces and Shiite militia, with the US-led coalition forces struggling to dampen the violence while foreign Sunni al-Qaeda fighters seeking to sew chaos wherever possible. Al-Shemmari charged that the gap with al-Qaeda came about after it had killed 40 IIA fighters, but vowed that the group was seeking reconciliation to unify all the insurgent groups and fight until the US troops leave the country. 'We are keen on the unification of all resistance groups. We have written for this end to Osama bin Laden and other scholars,' al- Shemmari said. Al-Shemmari offered to enter into negotiations with the United States under certain 'conditions' provided that an outside body like the European Union, Russia or Turkey hosted talks. He said the group was prepared to enter into negotiations if the US Congress made a 'binding decision' to withdraw US troops, even as it was seeking to unify the insurgent groups. 'Our second condition is that the Americans recognize the resistance as a legitimate party,' he said. US Congress has set a timetable for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by 2008, as part of a funding bill for the war. US President George W Bush has threatened to veto the bill.
22) Continued Clashes in Iraq Between Sunni Jihadi Groups and Al-Qaeda http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP154207
March 2007 saw the continuation of the violent clashes between the Sunni Iraqi jihad groups, and Al-Qaeda and the Al-Qaeda-founded Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). As part of its policy of killing Iraqi mujahideen who refuse to join the ISI, Al-Qaeda has assassinated two prominent Sunni Iraqis - a senior jihad commander and an associate of Iraq's deputy prime minister. Al-Qaeda Assassinates Senior Commander of the Iraqi "Kataib Thawrat Al-Ishrin" Jihad Group. On March 27, 2007, Sheikh Hareth Zaher Al-Dhari, the son of the head of the Al-Zouba' tribe, was ambushed and killed near his home in the Abu Ghraib district. Al-Dhari was a top commander of Faylaq Al-Jihad Al-Islami, a group which recently split off from the jihad organization Kataib Thawrat Al-Ishrin.  On the day of the assassination, Faylaq Al-Jihad and the Al-Zouba' tribe posted factual announcements that reported the murder without naming the party responsible. The Faylaq Al-Jihad announcement stated that the murderers had laid a "treacherous ambush" for Al-Dhari, while the Al-Zouba' announcement characterized the perpetrators as "a misguided group whose hatred has blinded it to the path of truth." The latter announcement added that "this crime will not keep the Al-Zouba' tribe from continuing to [fulfill] its duty of jihad [against] the occupier and his supporters, and will not cause it to focus on marginal issues that distract it from its sacred duty."  Though no group claimed responsibility for the assassination, sheikhs of the Al-Zouba' tribe, quoted in unofficial reports and on various news websites, accused Al-Qaeda of being behind the assassination of Al-Dhari, attributing it to his organization's refusal to join the ISI. The news website http://www.almokhtsar.com, for example, reported on March 28 that "Sheikh Ahmad Al-Zouba'i accused Al-Qaeda of being behind [the murder]... [characterizing it] as part of an organized campaign to kill the commanders of [jihad] groups that refuse to join the organization known as 'the Islamic State of Iraq.'" The site also mentioned that the victim was the nephew of Hareth Suleiman Al-Dhari, head of the [Iraqi Sunni] Muslim Clerics Association, and that an association spokesman, Muthanna Al-Dhari, had "accused Al-Qaeda in Iraq of the murder."  On March 31, 2007, the London daily Al-Hayat quoted Abu Hudhaifa, "a field commander in Thawrat Al-Ishrin, most of whose members are from the Arab Zouba' tribe," as saying: "Al-Qaeda has dared to assassinate Hareth Al-Dhari, a top [commander] of Kataib Thawrat Al-Ishrin and one of its founders in 2003, and the cousin [sic] of Sheikh Hareth [Suleiman] Al-Dhari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Clerics Association. [This] has placed the resistance groups before two options, both of them undesirable: either to fight Al-Qaeda and negotiate with the Americans, or to join the ISI, which means dividing Iraq." According to the paper, Abu Hudhaifa "denied [reports] that Kataib [Thawrat Al-Ishrin - Faylaq Al-Jihad] had signed a final agreement with the [Iraqi] government or with the Al-Anbar Rescue Council  to fight Al-Qaeda. He added that the crisis [faced by] the Iraqi resistance has escalated beyond ISI assassinations against groups that have not pledged allegiance to ISI commander Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi. [Today, Al-Qaeda is working] to cut off many of the [Iraqi groups'] internal and external supply and communication lines, and to take possession of arms and ammunition caches in distant regions. It has also threatened [to harm] the major local sponsors of some [Sunni Iraqi] groups - including Al-Jaysh Al-Islami, Jaysh Al-Mujahideen and Jaysh Al-Rashideen - unless they transfer funds to the Al-Qaeda leadership." Citing "fighters from various groups," Al-Hayat reported that some 30 commanders of Kataib Thawrat Al-Ishrin and Al-Jaysh Al-Islami had already been assassinated by Al-Qaeda or killed in battles over arms caches in the Al-Anbar district, which Al-Qaeda has been attempting to capture in the past month." 
ISI Claims Responsibility for Assassinating an Associate of Iraqi Deputy PMWhile Al-Qaeda did not take responsibility for Al-Dhari's murder, it did claim responsibility for another assassination that took place on the same day. An ISI announcement from April 2, 2007 said: "After [the March 23, 2007 assassination attempt on Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Abd Al-Salam Al-Zouba'i], in which he was severely wounded, and most [members] of his retinue were wounded or killed, there was another assassination on March 27, 2007, in Al-Amiriyah in Baghdad, [of] one of Abd Al-Salam Al-Zouba'i's closest associates." The announcement referred to Al-Zouba'i as "a Green Zone rat serving the Crusaders and their Shi'ite and Zionist lackeys," and added that "these operations [i.e. the attacks on Al-Zouba'i and on his associate] were part of the 'Plan of Honor'  that the ISI [leader], Commander of the Believers Sheikh Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, had ordered [his followers to carry out]." 
 Kataib Thawrat Al-Ishrin recently split into two groups: Faylaq Al-Jihad Al-Islami and Faylaq Al-Fath Al-Islami.  http://www.kataeb20.net/index.php?action=pages&id=61.  http://www.almokhtsar.com/html/news/1497/2/69583.php.  The Al-Anbar Rescue Council is a tribal alliance that was established to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq.  Al-Hayat (London), March 31, 2007.  See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1454, "Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi: 'We Find No [Blood] Sweeter Than That of the Byzantines [i.e. Christians],'" February 7, 2007, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP145407.
23) Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, Coalition force members deny enemy territory in Buhriz http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11367&Itemid=21
No. 20070412-03April 12, 2007 Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, Coalition
force members deny enemy territory in Buhriz Multi-National Division – North
BAQUBAH, Iraq – Iraqi Army, Police and Coalition force members began continuous combat operations in southern Buhriz, a suburb of Baqubah, Iraq, Tuesday, to deny enemy safe havens and clear the area of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organization activities, creating a stable and secure environment for the people of the region.“Enabling the Iraqi Security Forces in their pursuit to rid the province of terrorists by conducting offensive operations inside the neighborhoods will secure the population and deteriorate the resolve of the enemy,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander. “The ISF is doing this in coordination with the government of Diyala as they increase services throughout the neighborhoods.“The people want peace, prosperity, services and human rights, and ISF understands the need to destroy the terrorists to achieve these needs,” Sutherland said.
During the first day of operations, Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army and the IP Emergency Reaction Force, partnered with the Coalition force from the 5th Stryker Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, discovered more than five weapons caches, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and eight IEDs.The caches included several small-arms munitions, IED-making materials such as detonation cord, batteries and explosives; mortar rounds, mortar initiators and rocket-propelled grenade munitions. Wednesday, the Soldiers discovered a cache containing a mortar tube, more than 50 RPG munitions and cases of small-arms ammunition. A Coalition force explosive ordnance disposal unit was on site to conduct controlled detonations of the caches and the discovered IEDs. The operation also resulted in the detention of five suspected terrorists, four of whom were associated with a cache and set up an enemy observation post. The detainees were transferred to a detention facility for further questioning. According to the unit, people throughout Buhriz were very receptive of the ISF and Coalition presence, and were happy to learn about the future Iraqi police station. “The people have asked for the extraction of the violent, controlling, and hate-filled terrorists that have been controlling their lives and offering them no help or hope for the future of their children or families,” Sutherland said. “The people understand that the terrorists are trying to become the new dictators of their future and they have had their fill of dictators.”
24) Two Senior level Al Qaeda Terrorists killed in Iraq http://billroggio.com/dailyiraqreport/2007/04/iraq_report_senior_al_qaeda_le.php U.S. and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure on al Qaeda and the insurgency nationwide. Combined U.S. and Iraqi raids inside Baghdad led to 129 captured insurgents and the discovery of two bomb factories over the past 48 hours. Iraqi security forces, with the help of the Anbar Salvation Council, killed Ahmad Hadid, the leader "Islamic State in Fallujah," and Ibrahim Keitan, Al-Qaeda's military coordinator in Al-Anbar. An American military intelligence official tells us Ahmad Hadid is the brother of the notorious Omar Hadid, Abu Musab al Zarqawi's right hand man in Fallujah until he was killed in Novermber of 2004. Thirty-seven al Qaeda were captured in Fallujah, 6 in Amiriya and another 11 were captured along the Euphrates River Valley. Coalition raids in Taji, Mosul, Baghdad and Amiriya netted 17 al Qaeda, including the "al-Qaeda emir of Rusafa and former vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cell leader." In Basra, British troops killed 8 members of two roadside bomb teams as they were in the process of planting IEDs.