Swath of north Iraq turned over to Iraqi army

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Little-Acorn, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Gold Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    San Diego, CA
    Amidst the cacophany of Mel Gibson, Lieberman, "a war we can't possibly win", and faked photos, I thought I'd mention that GWB's plans for Iraq are proceeding as intended.

    The more of Iraq that gets turned over to the Iraqis, the more their people will favor getting rid of the terrorists from Syria, Iran etc. And, of course, the fewer Americans will die.

    All the other stuff was on Page 1 yesterday. Apparently that was more important to the Washington Post editors than favorable progress in the war - this article only made Page 13.



    Swath of North Turned Over to Iraqi Army

    By Andy Mosher
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Wednesday, August 9, 2006; Page A13

    TIKRIT, Iraq, Aug. 8 -- U.S. military commanders on Tuesday handed over to their Iraqi counterparts primary security responsibility for a swath of northern territory extending from the foothills of Iraq's eastern mountains all the way west to the Syrian border.

    Visiting U.S. and Iraqi officials hailed the transfer -- which will have no immediate effect on American troop levels in the area -- as a watershed moment in the gradual shift of military duties in Iraq from U.S. forces to this country's nascent army. They also expressed optimism over stepped-up security operations in Baghdad, where military spokesmen announced Tuesday that a new phase of a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown on violence had begun.

    At Forward Operating Base Dagger, a U.S.-Iraqi military installation on the outskirts of Tikrit, the Iraqi army's 4th Division was given the lead security role in Salahuddin, Nineveh and Tamim provinces. In a festive ceremony held in the marble-lined main hall of a palace built by Saddam Hussein, the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division handed off what commanders described as primary responsibility for coordinating, planning and conducting security operations in the three-province area.

    Five of the Iraqi army's 10 divisions now have primary responsibility for security in their areas, and FOB Dagger becomes the 48th of 110 U.S. bases handed over to Iraqi control.

    "Half of the Iraqi army is now under control of Iraqis," said the country's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie. "We believe they will be much more competent in fighting terrorism. We know our way around."

    "I think everyone needs to understand that this is a step," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who attended the handover ceremony with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. "First we had to build and train them. Then we put them in the lead, and we'll ultimately help them become independent. That's a little ways down the road."

    Khalilzad called it "a good day for Iraq. Iraqi forces are taking on more responsibility."

    (Full text of the article can be read at the above URL)

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