Iraqi Security Forces Gain New Recruits; Iraqi Citizens Prevent Terrorist Attack
Coalition efforts continue to improve security for the people of Iraq. (Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, Press Briefing, 2/27/08) From January 7 through February 22, Coalition Forces have:
· Conducted 40 battalion-level operations.
· Detained over 2,700 terrorists.
· Seized more than 1,400 caches of weaponry and munitions.
Coalition forces captured four al Qaeda leaders in Baghdad on February 24. (Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, Press Briefing, 2/27/08)
· Maj. Gen. Bergner: “These terrorists were associated with numerous attacks in and around Iraq’s capital city, including the use of car bombs and suicide vests.”
The ranks of those who are willing to serve their country and protect their communities continue to grow. (Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, Press Briefing, 2/27/08)
· A February 11-19 Iraq Army recruiting drive in Ninewa province resulted in more than 2,200 new soldier and officer candidates.
· On February 21, over 1,100 Iraqi Police recruits graduated from the Basic Training Course at the Furat Police Training Academy in Baghdad.
o Graduate: “Today’s graduation makes us very happy because this will provide security and control to this area. We’re all very excited about it. I joined the Iraqi Police because I have seen how much damage the extremists did to our country, and I wanted to provide protection to my people.”
On February 15 in Mosul, Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Police, and Coalition forces prevented a horrific terrorist attack. (Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, Press Briefing, 2/24/08)
· On February 15, local citizens informed Iraqi police that a large white truck marked with signs indicating it was a medical vehicle was parked two blocks from a neighborhood security center.
· Iraqi police notified Coalition forces, who moved the truck to the outskirts of Mosul and discovered it was loaded with eight 55-gallon drums rigged with detonation cord and 30 80-pound bags of explosives.
· Rear Adm. Gregory Smith: “The vigilance of alert citizens and the quick work of trained explosive experts saved untold lives.”
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) report bottom-up progress throughout Iraq. (U.S. Embassy Baghdad, 2/22/08)
· In Hillah, the Babil PRT and a local NGO organized and sponsored a soccer tournament honoring former Babil Province Police Chief Lt. Gen. Qais Hamza Abud al-Mamuri, who was assassinated in a targeted EFP attack late last year.
o Iraqi Police units provided security for the tournament while medical units were on hand to provide care in the event of injury.
· In Babil province, the local PRT reports that USAID Local Governance Program held a February 14 workshop to improve the leadership skills of women leaders in Babil Province.
o The workshop was attended by nearly 70 women, including members of the Provincial Council, local council members, a representative from the Council of Representatives, and others.