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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Patrols doubled, attacks reduced--ISF, MNF presence provide stability

Feb. 17, 2007.
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO
By Master Sgt. Dave Larsen
1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Security patrols doubled over the past week and the effects of violence in Baghdad was reduced as Iraqi security forces and the Multi-National Division – Baghdad implement Operation Fardh Al-Qanoon, (translated, it means “enforcing the law”), MND-B senior officials noted this week.

“Nearly 20,000 security patrols were conducted this week,” said MND-B spokesperson Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl. “Since the operation started, there has been a reduction in the number of attacks across the Iraqi capital.”

At a Pentagon press briefing conducted via satellite, Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil, Jr., also pointed to the relative calm across Baghdad Feb. 16.

“Heading over here (to the press briefing), we’ve only had 19 attacks against our forces,” Fil told the assembled media members. “None of them were effective.”

Bleichwehl said Iraqi police and national police patrols accounted for more than 11,000 of the total patrols mounted from Feb. 10-16.

“We are out in the communities, conducting our clearing operations and meeting with local residents across the city to improve the security situation here,” Bleichwehl said. “The Iraqis are playing a huge role in the day-to-day security operations.”

During the week of Feb. 10-16, 51 operations, at company-level or higher, were conducted in and around the Iraqi capital. Twenty-four of the company-level operations were jointly conducted with Iraqi security and coalition forces working together. More than 600 joint patrols were executed throughout the city.

The increase in operations netted 15 weapons caches during the week, with the largest coming south of Baghdad during Operation Algeria II.

During that operation, conducted Feb. 11, four separate caches were discovered and three dozen insurgent suspects were detained.

The 2nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, a supporting Military Transition Team, air support from 4th Squadron, 227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion and paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division all combined to locate four IEDs and one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device during the joint operation. The 36 suspects were also detained for further questioning.

In all, the operation involved more than 400 Iraqi Army troops aimed at helping Iraqi forces establish security in the northern portion of Babil province.

Another major security operation in eastern Baghdad kicked off this week, as Iraqi security forces and MND-B troops continue clearing operations in Adhamiyah. Dubbed Operation Arrowhead Strike VI, the ongoing operation began Feb. 14. Thus far, Bleichwehl said the operation has netted three weapons caches and detained five suspects, further emphasizing the fact that there will be no safe havens for extremists organizations in the Iraqi capital.

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