Iraqi News Reports On The Surge in Baghdad

Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends the following two articles from the Iraqi media:

36 suspects nabbed in Baghdad

Baghdad, Feb 16 (VOI, Voices of Iraq) – Some 36 suspects and wanted elements were detained, an explosive charge was defused and a large amount of weapons were confiscated in different parts in Baghdad, the central command of the Multi-National forces said on Friday.

“Three suspects were captured in al-Shawaka and al-Ghizaliya neighborhoods, five in al-Jihad and al-Bayaa suburbs and four others in al-Karada district”, the central command said in a statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

“In Rasafa, east side of Baghdad, seven wanted elements were arrested, 16 in Adhamiyah neighborhood, in addition to another suspect, who admitted of perpetrating a lot of crimes in Al-Madain district, in Baghdad” it added.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had announced on Wednesday the beginning of the major security plan codenamed (Rule of Law) in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in an attempt to drive out outlaws.

The US-backed plan received support from all Iraqi parties participating in the political process.

This article was translated by Haider Ajina from the Iraqi newspaper Alsabah on Feb 16 2007:

Baghdad Security Plan is war on terrorism and corruption.

Iraqi PM (Prime Minister) Noori Almaliki described the new Baghdad security plan as war against terrorism and corruption. The plan will travel along two parallel paths to achieve victory on two fronts, the terrorist front and the corruption front. In some case the corrupted are more dangerous that the terrorists.

While the PM and commander in chief Noori Al-Maliki announced, the launch of the security plan, from Karbala, units from the interior and defense ministries deployed and took control in Baghdad‘s ten districts. This move was described by a US commander as impressive well executed and successful.

Al-Maliki in his visit to Iraqi provinces in the central Euphrates area, said, “No one group can handle this alone, we all must participate in building Iraq”. He explained that the government has extended an olive branch to bring into society and the political process some of those who operate out side the law. The security operation did not start until all other avenues have been exhausted. He said, “those who love Iraq will respond to this effort”. He then talked about the plan to combat corruption. He expressed his dismay and disgust at those who finagle with the people’s money.

At this same time units from the military finalized their deployment in Baghdad’s Resafeh & Kargh regions (names of two areas on either side of the Tigris in Baghdad), by setting up check points and starting search, observe and control operations. Many locals (interviewed by Alsabah) expressed their endorsement and welcomed this new security operation. They said that traffic jams, traffic disruption and arriving late at work are far better than dying from explosions or car bombs. They also expressed great hope in this operation and the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces in curbing terrorism, assassinations and kidnappings. This successful deployment and launch shows the capabilities of the security forces to have a successful out come. An American general said, Iraqi forces have passed a critical test when over 70% showed up and deployed in their designated areas in conjunction with the U.S. forces to start the new security plan. General Martin Dempsey said that the Iraqi deployment for the security operation shows us what we can expect from the Iraqi forces in the future. He added, Iraqi forces are 75% of the units and Kurdish units from Suliamania and Kirkuk are already in Baghdad. We expect these Iraqi units to be deployed for six months before they return to their bases, there is no exact time line for their return however. Alsabah newspaper also received reports from eye witnesses that many Iraqi units are on their way to Baghdad from southern provinces (where conditions stable).

Haider comments:

The long awaited new security plan for Baghdad has now started in earnest. These Iraqi units trained by us and the UK are performing well. As I have mentioned many times. It is hard to train Iraqi security to serve, protect and enforce the rule of law in three short years, when all they have known previously is oppression and dictatorship. Think about how long it takes for us to train our military, and our men and women have grown up in a society of rule of law and democracy. Democracy and rule of law has only been a dream for Iraqis up until four years ago. The training of the Iraqis is thus doubly challenging.

The new security operation looks and sounds good with Iraqis performing well. What is also interesting is the media campaign the Government has launched to support this operation. Extra billboards displaying hotlines numbers for tips, TV & Radio ads denouncing terrorism, etc.

Popular and political support for this operation is the highest I have seen for any operation to date. Iraqi Arab Sunnis and Shiites as well as Kurds, who in Iraq are mostly Sunni, and Christians all support and have high hopes for this operation. Sentiment and hope is especially high amongst the displaced families who are now hoping they can return to their homes sooner rather than later.

Iraq the Model also has a report on the positive progress in Baghdad.

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