Skip to comments.Trenches plan to secure Baghdad
Posted on 09/15/2006 7:31:32 AM PDT by jmc1969
Iraq's interior ministry has announced plans to increase security in Baghdad by digging trenches around the city, and surrounding it with checkpoints.
The plan was unveiled amid continuing violence in the capital. At least 49 bodies have been recovered from the city's streets in the past 24 hours.
A spokesman said the security plan was designed to prevent insurgents from getting into and out of Baghdad.
But correspondents say it could take months to dig trenches round the city.
The Iraqi capital has a circumference of around 80km (50 miles).
Brigadier Abdul Karim of the interior ministry told the BBC that hundreds of minor roads would be sealed off under the plan, so that the city could only be accessed via 28 checkpoints.
He said equipment to detect weapons and explosives would be installed at key locations.
The plan, he said, would start coming into effect in less than three weeks.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
After they're done - can they come over here and do the same thing on the Mexican border?
Isn't it already surrounded by rivers? The problem seems to be in the city already.
"Correspondents"? Are they referring to journalists? If the Iraqi authorities believe this would help secure the city, who are journalists to object?
A more meaningful sentence would have been: "But the international media are objecting to any measure that might prove useful to the Iraqi government in fighting the terrorists."
at some point we are going to have to admit that this is nothing more than a giant clusterf*ck and start getting more of our troops out of this hellhole
Yeah, why not turn Bagdad into a prison....!
or maybe just go after the people who cause and finance all the violence in Iraq.... but we're NOT gonna do that, for sure!
Put pig pens around the city.
Today: September 15, 2006 at 9:35:16 PDT
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -
Iraqi security forces will dig trenches around Baghdad and set up checkpoints along all roads leading into the city to reduce some of the violence plaguing the capital, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
To help halt that bloodshed, more U.S. troops have been shifted to Baghdad from the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province, a senior U.S. commander said.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Marine was killed Friday in Anbar province, and an American soldier was killed Thursday evening by a roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad, the military said. Five American soldiers died Thursday, making it an especially bloody day for U.S. forces.
A U.S. soldier is missing from a suicide bombing 30 miles west of Baghdad that killed two of those soldiers, U.S. military officials said.
The soldier "has been reported as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown," the military said, without elaborating.
Neither U.S. military officials in Iraq nor in Washington would say whether they believed the soldier had been abducted or whether he may have been killed in the attack, and his remains had not been recovered.
An Iraqi civilian was killed and five others were wounded when a gunman on top of an abandoned building opened fire in a Sunni Arab neighborhood in central Baghdad, said police Lt. Ahmed Mohammed Ali.
A spokesman for a prominent Sunni Arab political party was shot and killed by gunmen, said a party official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears for his life.
Sheik Muhanad al-Gharairi was a spokesman for the Conference of People of Iraq, a Sunni Arab party headed by Adnan al-Dulaimi. He was also an imam at a mosque in Baghdad and was on his way to conduct prayers at a different mosque in Garma, 19 miles outside of Baghdad when he was killed.
The plan to dig trenches around Baghdad will be implemented in coming weeks, Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Kareem Khalaf told The Associated Press.
It comes as more than 130 people were slain in two days - either killed in attacks or tortured and dumped in rivers or on the city's streets.
"Trenches will be dug around Baghdad in the coming weeks when the third part of the Baghdad security plan is implemented," Khalaf said. Metropolitan Baghdad has a circumference of about 60 miles.
The security plan, known as Operation Together Forward, began June 15 and is being implemented in three phases. The first phase included setting up random checkpoints around the city, phase two began Aug. 7 and focused on the most violence-prone areas of Baghdad - mostly the Sunni Arab southern districts. Phase three reportedly includes cordoning off and searching other parts of Baghdad, including predominantly Shiite areas.
Khalaf said that except for the trenches, vehicle and pedestrian traffic would be restricted to just 28 entry points with manned checkpoints.
"We will leave only 28 inlets to Baghdad while all other inlets will be blocked. Supports will be added to the trenches to hinder the movements of people and vehicles. The trenches will be under our watch," he said.
He did not have any details, but did say that there would be no concrete walls or razor wire. Khalaf also did not know how deep or wide the trenches would be.
"They will surround Baghdad," he said of the trenches.
Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, a senior U.S. commander, said U.S. troops were shifted from Anbar province to Baghdad because quelling sectarian violence in the capital is a higher priority.
"The main effort is Baghdad, and we must ensure that we weight the main effort," Chiarelli said, using military terminology for drawing on available troops elsewhere in order to bolster the military effort in Baghdad.
In addition to extending the combat tour of the Army's 172nd Stryker Brigade and sending it from northern Iraq to Baghdad, a smaller unit was moved this summer from near Rawah, in Anbar province, to the capital. The 172nd was replaced by another Stryker brigade in the north, but the unit in Rawah was not.
Chiarelli said Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is "totally focused on ensuring that we keep what we need in Baghdad to do the job that we need to have done." He added that he believes that efforts to stabilize Anbar, which stretches west from Baghdad to the Syrian and Jordanian borders, are "moving in the right direction."
Both the Bush administration and military have said sectarian killings and violence are surging around Iraq and in the capital, although the military has said the attacks are limited to parts of Baghdad not yet included in the security operation.
A reduction in violence Friday was directly attributed to a vehicle ban went into effect around Baghdad to prevent suicide car bombers and others attacking worshippers during prayers. The ban is implemented every Friday.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, told the Security Council on Thursday that the average number of weekly attacks increased 15 percent and Iraqi casualties increased by 51 percent, compared with the previous three months.
One of the few positive developments for the U.S.-led coalition and the national unity government was the reported killing of a senior member of al-Qaida in Iraq and the capture of another al-Qaida leader.
The Interior Ministry said Abu Jaafar al-Liby, who it described as either the second or third most important figure in al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed by police earlier this week.
Four other insurgents were killed and two were arrested in the raid, a ministry spokesman, Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, told the AP.
Al-Liby was in charge of the Baghdad sector of al-Qaida in Iraq, Khalaf said. He said two letters were found on his body - one addressed to Osama bin Laden and the other to Abu Ayyoub al-Masri, who is thought to be al-Qaida in Iraq's leader. Both letters pledged loyalty and promised more attacks, Khalaf said.
The U.S. military also said it captured a senior al-Qaida figure and personal associate of the group's new leader during a Sept. 12 raid.
The man, who was not identified, led assassination, kidnapping and bomb-making cells in Baghdad, and played a key role in al-Qaida's activities in Fallujah before it was attacked by U.S. troops in November 2004, Caldwell said.
Shiite politicians, meanwhile, said they had made progress in trying to break a deadlock over legislation to establish autonomous regions as part of a federated Iraq. Sunni Arabs oppose the bill, fearing it could split Iraq into three sectarian and ethnic cantons. The proposed legislation, which could be introduced next week.
Associated Press reporters Sameer N. Yacoub and Patrick Quinn contributed to this report from Baghdad.
Moats..? These people seem to be stuck several centuries back...
No. We're fine. Keep pressing through. Iraqis are dying at some very high numbers as of late but the World is evil, what are you gonna do...try and hide from it?
We should keep supporting the Iraqis. They need and we need'em to be free and peaceful.
And just where does the Green Zone sit in Iraq? This does not sound good to me or am I reading too much into this?
I don't think that I like this one bit. What does the Americans that are in charge have to say about this?
We handed sovereignty to them some time ago, its now their country to do what they will with.
Surround it in moats, whatever.
You seem to be recommending a previous dem plan for withdrawal. I guess you haven't heard how we got here from there.
While working as a journalist in Vietnam, Nayan Chanda took this photo of a Communist tank entering the presidential palace in Saigon on April 30, 1975. Chanda, now editor of YaleGlobal Online, will speak about his experiences there at a panel marking the 30th anniversary of the event.
What an exceptionally erudite analysis. /s
Continue doing it the way we started in Iraq, to pull out and leave it like this would be idiotic, but next time (Iran, Korea) just wipe them out totally and take their stuff
Smart for them tell everyone about it!
by that rationale D-Day was a CF that should be called off... with 2000 casualties just training for it.
Finally ... "Green Zone Baghdad" ...
this is an idea the iraqi bloggers have suggested for some time. They lamented that coming and going to/from Baghdad had no security checkpoints and/or that there were many unsecured ways of coming and going.
Should have been done years ago.