Skip to comments.Commander: Ramadi safer than it has been in months
Posted on 06/04/2007 5:29:26 PM PDT by ASC2006
This time last year, Ramadi was arguably the most dangerous city in Iraq. Nowadays, its not exactly a model of peace and stability, but the threat to U.S. troops in some sectors of the city has gone down considerably.
In western Ramadi, an area patrolled and protected by the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, its been more than four months since a U.S. soldier lost his life, and there has been just one serious injury in that time.
Were as safe as safe can be in a war zone, Lt. Col. Miciotto O. Johnson, commander of the 1/77, said in a telephone interview. But, he said, we are at war. We understand that.
Johnsons piece of Ramadi is 30 by 50 kilometers in size and the biggest task force sector in the city. The sector hasnt always been this safe, if any part of the city can be reasonably characterized as safe. He lost eight soldiers before hitting the midpoint of his tour, and the makeshift bombs that are the enemys weapon of choice in most of Iraq were a constant threat.
With the help of Iraqi police and army soldiers, Weve eradicated that threat, primarily, Johnson said.
The relative peacefulness in Ramadi is in large part thanks to local tribal leaders who changed alliances. Those who made the switch decided to help the U.S. and turned against al-Qaida, which is responsible for most violence in the city.
Since the switch, local Iraqis have joined the police and army in droves, and theyre doing what they hadnt done before: Theyre standing up to al-Qaida.
The Iraqis are putting themselves in the same harms way that my soldiers are, and we appreciate that, Johnson said.
(Excerpt) Read more at estripes.com ...
Let’s build on this. Make it a tourist destination soon!
It sure appears that ar Ramadi shall soon find itself with no guns blaring or bombs going boom. Hopefully the central government has every intention of following up on working with the the government of al Anbar to start new work programs, reconstruction, and the rest of the good things that can continue to improve this region, and prevent potential turn coats from having any excuses not to join in the new Iraq.