Sunday, December 9, 2007

Good News From Iraq - What the Main Stream Media will not tell you

Constant security helps Adhamiyah markets grow. BAGHDAD - Adhamiyah, a northeastern district of the Iraqi capital, was once a violent hotspot where residents were afraid to go to the store. However, with the help of concerned citizens and volunteers, Iraqis have once again begun to fill the market streets. In the past, local thugs and terrorists were taking advantage of small markets and extorting shop owners, collecting a "fee" in order for them to keep their businesses open, said Pizzino. In addition to the extortion, locals were afraid to go shopping in the streets due to random attacks by terrorists. The security issue has been improving thanks to a joint effort by the Iraqi Army, the local Iraqi Security Volunteers and the troopers from 3-7 Cav, who have been a constant presence on the streets of Adhamiyah. The improvement in security is starting the money flowing in the neighborhoods, and that is going to give a fresh start to local citizens. It is not just a boost for the economy of Adhamiyah. The picture of people shopping in the streets will give residents a feeling of security. The fact that abandoned houses are being reoccupied by people who moved out of town because of the violence is a sign of life flourishing in Adhamiyah. Locals are calling family members, friends and old neighbors to invite them to move back in. The locals are helping the Iraqi Security Forces and Volunteers as well as the Coalition Forces by pointing out where the bad guys are and notifying them of anything that looks suspicious.

Reconciliation takes center stage across Multi-National Division - Center CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - The number of Iraqi-led reconciliation efforts swelled over the past two weeks across Multi-National Division - Center as local Iraqi leaders seek to capitalize on an improved security situation by developing the institutions that will enable long-term stability. A window has opened for local leadership to push forward business development and infrastructure repair and forge political relationships across sects and neighborhoods. Khalif Haloos of the Sadr al Yusifiyah Nahia Governance Council hosted more than 500 sheiks from Sunni, Shi'a and Kurdish tribes. Security for this meeting, the largest of several important reconciliation gatherings in MND-C in recent days, was provided by the Iraqi Security Forces. This meeting was an example of Sunnis and Shias working together. The sheiks discussed reconciliation issues, from the return of displaced families, to a pact that would allow Iraqis of all sects to travel freely through the sheiks' territory without fear of sectarian reprisal. They also discussed restraining Iranian influence, suppressing the remaining insurgents in their territory, and ways to integrate their activities with Iraq's central government. Part of that direction involves parlaying improved security and cooperation among the different parties to build a stepped-up reconstruction program.

Iraqi Army, Coalition Forces kill 2 insurgents, detain 12. KIRKUK, Iraq - Soldiers of the 4th Iraqi Army Division and the 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Iron, conducted a joint operation near Kirkuk. Operation Ghost Round-Up Reaper was intended to disrupt terrorist activities in the Tuz Province, and increased the presence of IA and Coalition Forces in the area. The IA led the operation while the 10th Mountain Division Soldiers provided air and outer-ground support to deny escape to anyone trying to flee the area. During the onset of the operation, Iraqi Soldiers aggressively maneuvered on the objective area and immediately began house-to-house questioning in search of terrorists, weapons and other contraband items. By the end of the operation, the joint forces had killed two and detained 12 suspected terrorists.

Anbar Agricultural College returned to province, GOI CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq - Camp Corregidor and Combat Outpost were returned to the Government of Iraq today in a signing ceremony held in the provincial capital of Ramadi. Governor Mamoun Sami Rashid Alawani, on behalf of the National Government, signed the documents and officially took possession of the property at the Provincial Government Center a few kilometers from the campus. Coalition Forces established Camp Corregidor on the abandoned campus of the Agricultural College in early 2004. Strategically located on the main highway connecting Baghdad to Syria. Cooperation between local leaders, Iraqi Police and Army, and Coalition Forces brought attacks to an end in 2007 and the base is now being prepared for transition back to its original purpose. As security has improved in Ramadi and Al Anbar, faculty and students are now gradually returning to their studies at the Women's College, Law School and Al Anbar University. Iraqi Police and Coalition Forces have in turn cleared concrete barriers, concertina wire and checkpoints from some of the roads in the education district to accommodate increased traffic.

CLCs, Coalition Forces coordinate to eliminate Arab Jabour insurgent safehouse FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq - An insurgent safehouse in Arab Jabour, Iraq, was rendered useless by two joint direct attack ammunition bombs Dec. 4. Although the munitions were dropped by a U.S. Air Force F-16, the operation was a combined effort conducted on the ground by Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division and Concerned Local Citizens in the area. The chain of events began Dec. 2 when the CLCs conducted a daylight search of a suspected insurgent base of operations. The citizens, led by Salah Mubarak, conducted the mission after they experienced a number of attacks around the abandoned building. Tired of the violence, local residents including Mubarak's cousin, who owned the structure, took proactive measures to stop the attacks. The citizens went to the building to gather intelligence and document anything found with a digital camera. The citizens were aware of the enemy's tactic of booby-trapping houses and found a pressure plate improvised explosive device on the second floor roof entrance. The initiator led to a recliner near the door, which the CLCs cut open to investigate. Packed inside the chair were approximately 50 pounds of unknown bulk explosives. The CFs' love the CLCs' skill at finding things and gathering intelligence, while the CLCs love the combat power and weaponry the Soldiers bring. There is the partnership with the CLCs to good community relations between the Soldiers and the Arab Jabour residents.

---Multi-National Corps - Iraq
December 6, 2007

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