Troop Scoop 7/6/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 06 Jul 2008 01:38 PM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
Headline news story of AQI networks degraded.  Health care providers get hands on training by U.S. medics, while critical pipe line gets repaired so thousands can have fresh clean water.  It had been 5 years since singing was forbidden in Wasit, difficult for us to comprehend.  The reconciliation process of Iraqi citizens continues to grow.  More criminals and terrorists detained or killed, and weapons and munition caches seized.
Joanna
___________________________________
MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ
PRESS DESK
BAGHDAD, Iraq

Al-Qaeda in Iraq networks degraded

BAGHDAD – CF dealt another blow to terrorist networks Saturday, detaining 9 suspects during ops targeting AQI’s senior leaders and operatives in northern Iraq.
Associates of an alleged al-Qaeda leader led CF to an area near Bi’aj, about 130 km southwest of Mosul, where they captured him and another wanted man. The alleged leader is assessed to oversee terrorist ops in northwest Iraq, including finances, attacks and the movement of foreign terrorists. One additional suspected terrorist was detained.
Two wanted men are in custody after CF targeted them during a raid in Bayji, about 160 km south of Mosul. The men are believed to be members of a bombing network that operates in the Tigris River Valley.  One of the men captured is also suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign terrorists into central Iraq.  CF detained 4 additional suspects in the op.

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Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

July 6, 2008
More than 135 Iraqis reconcile in Ad Dawr

TIKRIT – As the number of Iraqi citizens initiating the reconciliation process continues to grow in the Sunni-dominated Salah ad Din province, the town of Ad Dwar, just south of Tikrit, has seen its number grow to 137 within the past week.
The large numbers of citizens and foreign fighters from the area have decided to pledge their allegiance of loyalty to the GoI by ceasing attacks on Iraqi civilians, Iraqi SF and CF.
Four key individuals reconciled in the past week and 7 Iraqi court dates have been issued.
Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, EO for the 1st BCT, 101st Abn Div., said “Hopefully this number will continue to grow as more of their men are realizing the potential prosperity of a unified Iraq.”

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MND-B Soldiers detain two key suspects

BAGHDAD – In al Rowad, northwest of Baghdad, July 5, at approx. 4:40 a.m., Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID detained a highly sought after suspect, believed to be an IED maker and emplacer with links to remote controlled IEDs targeting sheiks in the area.
In a separate search op, Soldiers from the 2nd SBCT detained another key individual at approx. 9 a.m. The
criminal groups suspect is implicated in the assassination of Sheik Baha and suspected of hiding weapons caches in the area.

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ISOF, IA detain eight suspected criminals, kill suicide bomber in separate ops

BALAD –  In the Ninewah province, July 4, in 1 op, ISOF conducted a mission in the outskirts of Mosul to detain the leader and other cell members of the ISI, a front org. for AQI. The group is known for operating support networks for weapons supply lines through Mosul to the north along the Tigris River.
Based on warrants, ISOF detained 7 suspected criminals who make up a cell that reportedly uses intimidation to silence local Iraqis, and extortion to finance the ISI as well as other criminals. The cell leader is also suspected of killing an IP officer.
In another op in Ninewah Province, IA Soldiers captured an individual believed to be the leader of a separate AQI cell.  The suspect is allegedly operating along the Syrian border in the Ninewah province, providing refuge to transient foreign fighters, and is also involved in the facilitation of IEDs, VBIEDs and other criminal activities.
During this op, IA soldiers detained 6 other individuals believed to be involved with the AQI cell.

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ISOF capture three suspected terrorists, one SG criminal in operations around central Iraq

BALAD –  July 3, in Baghdad, ISOF captured 2 suspected terrorists, accused of IED attacks against Iraqi and CF.
One of the suspected terrorists is an AQI deputy, accused of 2 attacks against CF in May 2008.  An additional suspect was detained during the op.
In another operation in Baghdad, ISOF captured a mid-level Special Groups criminal leader believed to be in charge of approx. 250 criminals. The suspect is believed to be responsible for IED and indirect fire attacks against Iraqi and CF.
An AQI leader, based in Anbar province, was captured by ISOF in northwest Baghdad.  He is suspected of conducting IED attacks against Iraqi Security and CF in Karmah, and abducting and holding individuals for ransom to raise funds for terrorist activities. He is a terrorist specializing in assassinations, kidnappings
and IEDs.  While processing him for detainment, authorities found a note with names of local Iraqis’ believed to be targeted due to their affiliations with CF.

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Singing Event Strengthens Cultural Bonds, Promotes Unity

By Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson, 41st Fires Brigade

Screenshot_008
Approx. 900 people attended a 2-day performance by 2 famous Iraqi singers organized by the Wasit PRT.
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson

FOB DELTA — Discussing the Rule of Law and human rights does not normally bring a large crowd, but the people of al Kut swarmed to the al Kut Municipal Theater recently to hear such a message.
“It has been five years since singing was allowed in Wasit,” said Sabah al-Kayat, one of the performers for the event.
“The PRT continues to plan and support cultural events that stimulate a cultural revitalization and return to normalcy in Wasit through plays, films, poetry contests and journalism conferences,” said Vanessa Beary, the Wasit PRT public diplomacy officer.  This return to normalcy would not be possible without the support of the Iraqi SF, the PRT and CF.
“I’m really so happy and joyful to be among you today, with my sons and brothers from the IP and the IA in this song recital, which expresses the freedom of all Iraqi people in our society, to express himself in various ways according to the law,” said Maj. Gen. Hanin, provincial directorate of police, during his remarks at the first night of the event.  Hanin went on to read excerpts from the Iraqi constitution, outlining rights and freedoms entitled to every Iraqi.  His remarks were met with enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
According to Beary, these non-religious and apolitical cultural events help strengthen the community and serve as indicators of cultural progress in Wasit.  “After the first cultural event of the Mud House play, people on the street were asking when the next PRT cultural event was going to happen,” said Beary.
During the intermission of the first night, t-shirts were passed out with the ‘Sing’ logo on the front and “For Love, Peace, to build a civilized Iraq, we will all sing together” on the back.
“I will continue to work with the PRT, to bring these cultural events to the people,” said Hayder.

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Iraqi Healthcare Providers get Hands-on Training from U.S. Medics

By Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield
2nd Stryker BCT

Screenshot_010
Sgt. Lucas Gonzales shows the staff of the Taji Healthcare Clinic how to properly use a device which provides pain relief in the back and neck.

Photo by Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield, 2nd Stryker Bde 25th ID

CAMP TAJI — Three Soldiers from the 225th BSB recently visited with the doctors, nurses and physicians of the Taji Health Clinic to provide the staff with hands-on training on some new medical equipment.
Due to the devastating consequences of war, healthcare in Iraq has suffered severely over the past 7 years. CF have joined with the Dept. of State and U.S. Agency for Int’l. Development to help put an end to the poor health conditions by providing health clinics with much needed repairs, supplies, education and up-to-date equipment.
Capt. Romarius Longmire a physician, Spc. Cavan Yen a medical lab technician, and Sgt. Lucas Gonzales, a physical therapy specialist, conducted the training.  “Some of the equipment may seem rugged to people back in the States, but here it is a luxury and a blessing,” said Gonzales.
The number of patients visiting the clinic is increasing, and the Soldiers want to ensure the clinic’s doctors and nurses become familiar with their new equipment and are confident to use it on their own.  “A couple of months ago, we were treating about 150 patients a day.  Now we are receiving well over 300 patients a day.  People are seeing the improvements made and are much more confident in the health care we provided here,” said Dr. Mahmood, clinic mgr.
This training is another step in the positive development in the healthcare system in Taji.  In the past 6 months, the clinic has gone from being an outer shell of a building to a flourishing medical center.

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Critical Pipeline Repaired, Thousands Receive Fresh Water

Screenshot_011

Iraqi contractors load pipes for transport from a storage area on Camp Ramadi to a local warehouse under the control of the Ramadi Dir. Gen. of Water.

Photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Gary Boucher.

CAMP RAMADI — Just outside Camp Ramadi, a team of Iraqi and American workers recently located and repaired a broken water pipeline, restoring water service to more than 1,000 local families.
Ramadi, the capital city of the al-Anbar province, straddles the Euphrates River.  On the surface, it would appear that water would be in abundant supply for the more than 450,000 citizens of this sprawling city. “There are areas that have less access than others,” said Cmdr. Kevin Hunt of Task Force Ramadi.  “Some areas southwest of Ramadi have no pressure at all and have been receiving bottled water.”  Hunt is working with local officials and other CF experts to address the essential need of providing a reliable flow of water to the citizens of Ramadi and the Al-Anbar province.
The challenge Hunt and others now face is determining what is working and what is not.  “The infrastructure that is in place is decrepit,” said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Thien, a Task Force Ramadi member working with the MNF-West Civil Military Ops Unit.  “The country has been in a state of war for more than a quarter of a century.  During that time, efforts to maintain and build infrastructure were just not there.”
Thien is working with the Iraqi Minister of Municipalities and Public Works in Baghdad to start developing a 20-year master plan for Anbar and the city. “This will help determine where they need to focus current and future efforts to maintain and expand the system to meet the needs of the Iraqi people,” he said.
Both men pointed out the issue of sanitation as being at the forefront of challenges Ramadi faces today. “The majority of the areas where people live have access to water,” said Thien. “The challenge is making sure they have access to safe, clean water.  As pipes leak and break, contaminates get inside.”
Ramadi does not have a sewage system but instead relies on a rainwater drainage system to discard waste. “Most of the houses were designed with septic tanks,” said Thien. “They don’t work very well in the soil here, so out of necessity, they have houses with ditches and drainage systems hooked up to the storm drain systems that flow directly into the river.  It has all the ingredients for a bad situation in the form of disease outbreak like cholera.”
While both Hunt and Thien, along with experts from the U.S. State Dept., are working towards addressing the water issue of the city of Ramadi and the al-Anbar province, they both point out that the solution will ultimately be an Iraqi one. “It doesn’t matter if the Americans can make it work.  It matters if the Iraqis can make it work,” said Thien. “It’s their province, city and water system.”

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Picture Perfect

Screenshot_014
U.S. Army Combat cameraman, Spc. Charles Probst, is caught off guard by a young Iraq child, while on patrol with U.S. Soldiers in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, July 2, 2008.

Photo by Tech Sgt. Cohen Young

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