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CENTCOMNEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

February 20, 2005
Release Number: 05-02-12


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Iraqi, U.S. Forces Kick Off Operation River Blitz

CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq - Iraqi and U.S. forces increased security operations in and around Ramadi and throughout the Al Anbar Province Feb. 20.

The 1st Marine Division of the I Marine Expeditionary Force and Iraqi Security Forces kicked off Operation River Blitz, which includes a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and other measures to enhance security in and around Ramadi.

"We were asked by the Iraqi government to increase our security operations in the city to locate, isolate and defeat anti-Iraqi forces and terrorists who are intent on preventing a peaceful transition of power between the Interim Iraqi Government and the Iraqi Transitional Government," said Maj. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, commanding general, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

The security measures in and around the provincial capital are designed to ensure the safety of the populace by controlling access into the city. Access control points leading into the city will screen vehicles for terrorists and criminals as well as weapons, munitions and materials to produce improvised-explosive devices.

In conjunction with implementing the security measures in Ramadi, increased security operations also began in several cities along the Euphrates River, including the cities of Hit, Baghdadi and Hadithah.

Operation River Blitz is designed to target criminals and terrorists, who have attempted to destabilize the Al Anbar Province by terrorizing the populace through wanton acts of violence and intimidation. The 1st Marine Division of the I Marine Expeditionary Force stands committed with the Iraqi Security Forces in disrupting and defeating the anti-Iraqi forces while providing enhanced security to the people of Al Anbar Province.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE 1st MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE AT IMEFMEDIATEAM@IMEFDM.USMC.MIL


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