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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

March 5, 2005
Release Number: 05-03-05


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OPERATION RIVER BLITZ SECURITY MEASURES TO CONTINUE

CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq -- Enhanced security measures will continue in Al Anbar province to maintain the level of security reached during Operation River Blitz.

"We want to maintain the momentum, and build on the success of Operation River Blitz," said MajGen Richard F. Natonski, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. "Our forces, in conjunction with Iraqi Security Forces, will maintain enhanced operations to continue to keep the pressure turned-up on the insurgency."

During Operation River Blitz, Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces detained more than 400 suspected terrorists and seized numerous weapons caches throughout Al Anbar Province. The number of terrorist attacks dropped significantly during the operation.

Operation River Blitz began Feb. 20 at the request of the Iraqi government to ensure a peaceful transition of power between the interim Iraqi government and the Iraqi transitional government. The combined operation was designed to enhance security in the province by increasing the Iraq Security and Coalition Force presence in the population centers along the Euphrates River. The operation concluded March 5.

A curfew was set, and access control points on routes leading into the provincial capital of Ar Ramadi were established during the operation. The access control points have proven very effective in preventing weapons and terrorists from entering the city.

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