Iraqi Security Forces Stepping Up To The Plate Against al-Qaeda
January 26, 2008
It’s been often said that one of the things that will show that Iraq is ready to retake their country from terrorists, is for them to be responsible for the safety and security of their people, instead of relying so strongly on US and coalition forces. In an announcement on Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that Iraq is sending troops for a “decisive” battle with al-Qaeda militants in Mosul, one of the places where al-Qaeda fighters continue to have a major stronghold. According to al-Malaki, extra Soldiers and Police are being deployed to the city in Northern Iraq to push al-Qaeda and militants out of their last major stronghold in the northern part of Iraq.
On Wednesday, a massive blast in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, which is blamed on al-Qaeda, killed 40 people and wounded around 220. The following day, when the province’s police chief was touring the area, inspecting the damage, the police chief was assassinated. According to al-Maliki, that assassination is what prompted him to order the crackdown.
“This heinous crime, committed against our people and sons in Nineveh hurt us but also gave us a push to expedidte the activation of the operations command,” he said in a press conference in Karbala.
Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf of the Interior Ministry told reporters that around 3,000 additional police would be added to the police force in Mosul. While he and al-Maliki both admit that the job will be a big one, they claim that their intelligence has infiltrated al-Qaeda.
“We have set up an operations room in Nineveh to complete the final battle with al-Qaeda along with guerrillas and members of the previous regime,” Maliki said, referring to other Sunni militants the Shi’ite led government says remain loyal to former leader Saddam Hussein.
Nineveh is one of four provinces in northern Iraq, where Iraqi forces are teaming up with US forces to try to room out insurgents. The other provinces are Diyala, Tameem and Salaheddin. Al-Qaedas operations in areas such as the Diyala River Valley have been lessened, due to US and Iraqi security forces working together to rid these areas of the problem, and the fact that many citizens, having become fed up with the constant threats to their safety from al-Qaeda and other terrorists, have caused them to begin cooperating and working with security forces.
“Today, our forces started moving to Mosul. What we are planning in Nineveh will be decisive,” Maliki continued during a ceremony for the victims of violence in the city of Karbala, that was broadcast on state television.
It’s great to see the Iraqi’s stepping up to the plate and addressing the problems that continue to threaten the lives of their citizens. I’ll be watching this situation closely, as Iraqi forces take the offensive and the lead, against the insurgents. This is yet another step in the right direction… that of Iraqi security forces being able to ensure the safety and security of their people.