Monday, December 17, 2007

More Great News From Iraq - Stories You Won't See in the Media

Sunni, Shia sheiks say no to violence, yes to reconciliation ASSIRIYAH, Iraq - Sunni and Shia tribal sheiks, local government leaders, senior Iraqi Army officials and local Iraqi Police officials from throughout the Taji area, met at the prayer town hall to continue reconciliation efforts and celebrate the "awakening," a term used to describe a turning away from sectarianism and violence. More than 200 attendees from the villages of Hor Al Bosh, Sheik Ahmer, Shat Al Taji, Falahat and other areas dined as they discussed issues affecting their villages and ways in which they can improve the quality of life for the people living there. This is a continued extension of the Sunni and Shia partnership which has truly spread to every corner of North Taji. As the security situation continues to improve, Sunnis are able to travel to mainly Shia areas, and the Shia can go to Sunni areas. In many cases, these are places they have never been before or never dared to go before.

Iraqi security volunteers turn over weapons cache to MND-B troops CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Iraqi Security Volunteers working in the Albu Obaed area west of Baghdad turned over a large weapons cache to Multi-National Division-Baghdad troops. While patrolling the Albu Obaed streets, the volunteers received a tip from a local resident about a nearby cache site. After receiving the location, the volunteers verified the information by traveling to the area to examine the find. "This event shows that the Iraqi Security Volunteers have been doing a tremendous job in finding weapons and securing their neighborhoods," said Maj. Randall Baucom. "They have definitely been disrupting the insurgents' abilities to perform operations against the Iraqi people, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition troops.

"Iranian rockets found, turned over to Coalition Forces FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - A cache of Iranian-manufactured rockets was turned over to Coalition Forces based at FOB Delta . Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel delivered 14 107 mm Iranian rockets and fuses to Kazakhstani Soldiers, said 1st Lt. Almaz Mukashev, the Kazakhstani liaison officer. The rockets were manufactured in 2006. ICDC personnel have turned over munitions to Coalition Forces before, but this was the first time Iranian weapons were turned over from the force to Coalition Forces, said Col. Peter Baker. "This is another indication of the cooperation of Iraqi officials who in all earnestness want to have a better society," Baker said. "They know these rockets are here illegally and that they are here to maim and kill Iraqi and Coalition Security Forces and innocent civilians." Baker said this is a sign that Iraqis are taking ownership of their area to bring about better security.

Polish Civil-Military Coordination group delivers humanitarian aid in Diwaniyah DIWANIYAH, Iraq - The Polish Civil-Military Coordination group, in cooperation with Iraqi Soldiers from the 8th Division and Polish Soldiers from Task Force Lynx, delivered four trucks full of humanitarian aid supplies to 110 families in Diwaniyah, Iraq. During the distribution of the family packages, which contained food, an electric generator and bedding, Polish Soldiers were able to speak to residents. "Nowadays, we can observe a big change in the citizens' behavior," said Warrant Officer Janusz Sawa, deputy platoon leader of Task Force Lynx. "At the beginning of the operation they hesitated, but now they come and ask us when we will come to their houses."

Iraqi Security Forces, Coalition Forces detain 27 suspected al-Qaeda in North Babil NORTH BABIL, Iraq - A joint raid resulted in the detention of 27 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in a building in north Babil that was suspected to be an al-Qaeda safehouse where members planned attacks against local citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces. The raid was conducted by the Iraqi Army and Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), currently attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Intelligence indicated that the al-Qaeda members operating out of the building included high-value individuals. The raid was conducted by an air assault. "The Iraqi Army did a fantastic job in clearing the objective area," said Capt. George Morris. "Much of the success of the mission was owed to intelligence reports from Concerned Local Citizens", said Lt. Col. Kane Barksdale.

Multi-National Corps - Iraq, December 15, 2007

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