Skip to comments.Generals: Reconstruction and security working in tandem throughout Iraq
Posted on 09/15/2006 4:50:01 PM PDT by SandRat
BAGHDAD Combined operations by Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to target al-Qaida terrorists at the same time as reconstruction projects continue throughout Iraq, Coalition officials told reporters on Thursday.
In a joint press conference, Multi-National Force Iraq spokesman Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, and Maj. Gen. William H. McCoy Jr., commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division, discussed progress being made on both the operational and reconstructions fronts.
Since August 30th, over 150 focused operations have been conducted in Iraq, Caldwell said. The operations resulted in 66 terrorists killed and over 830 suspected terrorists detained, as well as the discovery of multiple weapons caches. About 60 percent of the operations were carried out in al-Anbar province.
On the evening of Sept. 12 there was a series of 25 raids conducted in and around Baghdad, targeting al-Qaida in Iraq activities. The raids resulted in the capture of over 70 suspected terrorists, one of which was a personal associate of Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
The al-Masri associate was the leader of assassination, kidnapping and IED cells in Baghdad. He is known to have directly participated in numerous terrorist acts, including kidnappings and executions, directly contributing to enflaming sectarian violence throughout the city. He also played a key operational role in terrorist activities prior to and during Coalition operations in Fallujah in November 2004.
The Baghdad Security Plan is working, Caldwell said, with the levels of attacks, murders and other violence reduced in focus areas. However, the general cautioned, terrorist and death squads are targeting civilians outside of the focus areas, thus continuing to drive high levels of violence.
Overall, Baghdads level of ethno-sectarian violence has been reduced by Operation Together Forward, but remains above the levels of violence we saw before the Golden Mosque bombing in Samarra in late February, said Caldwell. As we approach Ramadan, we know there is generally an increase in violence, and the Government of Iraq has ongoing planning to address this.
The generals also reminded that security operations do not take place in a vacuum. As combined forces work to secure Iraq, thousands of reconstruction projects under way are providing another critical contribution to the countrys long-term success, McCoy said.
The United States has contributed almost $22 billion toward a massive rebuilding effort thats critical to the BaghdadIraqs progress toward democracy, he said. security plan and
Understanding the extent and impact of these projects is important to assessing conditions in Iraq, McCoy explained. He noted the American public is bombarded with news about violence in Iraq, but also needs insight into successes of the reconstruction program to get a balanced view of how we are making a difference in the lives of the Iraqi people every day.
McCoy told reporters about an ambitious reconstruction plan thats helping address health, education, electricity, water, sewer, transportation, communications and other needs around the country. It ranges from short-term, relatively easy fixes like trash removal to an ambitious effort to increase power generation around the country.
We are making incredible headway in Iraq and in Baghdad, he said. As of Sept. 12, more than 2,800 of more than 3,800 projects planned under the Iraq Reconstruction Program had been completed. Work has started on another 600.
McCoy described how an initiative called Iraqi First is ensuring as many contracts as possible for this effort go to Iraqi-owned businesses.
This empowers the citizens of Iraq to play a major role in rebuilding their nation and helps boost the nations economy, McCoy said. Likewise, in virtually every project that we are working on today, we work hand-in-hand with the (Iraqi) ministries at the national level and the local director generals.
By teaming with our Iraqi partners, we are building the foundation for continued success, he said, and helping build a brighter future for Iraq.
We'll get there is we can wait it out....