Iraqi Pol Hails Our GI 'Knights'

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by -Cp, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    WASHINGTON — An Iraqi mayor has written a dramatic letter to the commander of coalition forces, praising U.S. troops as "lion hearts" and "knights" for liberating his city from al Qaeda terrorists.
    The emotional letter from gallant Tal' Afar Mayor Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jibouri to Gen. George Casey is circulating among military families over the Internet and has created a surge of pride in troops.

    Al-Jibouri's letter calls soldiers of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, who carried out recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal' Afar "lion hearts," who "bristle with the confidence of knights in a bygone era."

    He said the troops transformed his western Iraqi city from a "ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, into a secure city flourishing with life."

    Al-Jibouri also offered special words to the families of the 39 Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the battle to save his city. "To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence for the souls of your loved ones," he wrote.

    "We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land."

    The letter is having a profound impact on those who fought in Tal' Afar.

    Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the regiment's 4,700 soldiers, told The Post in an e-mail from Iraq: "It is a moving tribute to our courageous, disciplined, tough and compassionate troopers.

    "I think it is easy for people to understand the sacrifices that come with military service, but more difficult to understand the intangible rewards," he added.

    Al-Jibouri is a Sunni Arab and a former officer in Saddam Hussein's military who was recently brought to the area from another part of the country by the new Iraqi government.

    Over the summer and fall, he worked side by side with McMaster on Operation Restore Rights, a military campaign that targeted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq.

    The group used the city of 250,000 located 40 miles from the Syrian border as its epicenter for smuggling money, material and suicide bombers.

    "Our city was the main base of operations for . . . Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage by his henchmen . . . Our streets were silent and no one dared to walk them," al-Jibouri wrote in the letter.

    "Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve . . . their young," he added.

    Working closely with tribal leaders and Iraqi army recruits, the 3rd Cavalry evacuated civilians in September and carried out precision block-by-block, house-by-house operations in a textbook campaign that routed the terrorists while limiting the kind of collateral damage that plagued other U.S. military operations in cities like Fallujah.

    While there are still terrorist attacks in the city, the numbers are way down and schools are open, police stations have been rebuilt and a municipal government is starting to function, the military says.

    The regiment, which also fought in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, is now in the process of redeploying back to Fort Carson, Colo., after its second yearlong stint in Iraq.

    The mayor's letter to Casey is being handed out to families at homecoming ceremonies at Fort Carson, adding a sense of "mission accomplished" to the joy returning soldiers and their families are experiencing, said McMaster's wife, Katie.

    "We are all thrilled about this letter and so very proud of our soldiers," Mrs. McMaster told The Post.
  2. Annie

    Annie Diamond Member

    Nov 22, 2003
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    :salute: Our military! :clap: The mayor for giving praise that too many of our own people are not!

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