Terror Occurs During Times of Iraqi Progress, General Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
Terrorists in Iraq are known to ratchet up their activities, like the recent spate of deadly car bombings in Baghdad, when specific progress is being made in remaking Iraq into a free and democratic nation, Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch explained.
"These spikes of violence are predictable around the times that highlight progress towards democracy," Lynch said. The Iraqi people will vote on adopting their newly drafted constitution during an Oct. 15 referendum, with new national elections slated for December.
Bombings Sept. 14 and today in Iraq's capital city killed and wounded scores of citizens, Lynch noted. Such violence is "unfortunate," he said. "We mourn the loss of life of every innocent civilian that's been killed in these great tragedies," he added, "and our prayers and our hearts go out to them, their families and friends."
However, the "peaks of violence" that target innocent Iraqi civilians "has happened in the past, is happening now, and will happen in the future," the general noted.
Victory over terrorists in Iraq "will be won over time by the Iraqi people, the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi security forces," Lynch said. Counterinsurgency operations historically last 10 years, he added.
Lynch said much progress is being made against the insurgency in Iraq. Insurgents can't establish and maintain safe havens within the country, nor have they stopped recruiting for the new Iraqi security forces that now number 190,000 trained and equipped soldiers and police.
The terrorists "have zero effect" militarily against Iraqi, U.S. and coalition security forces, Lynch observed. Therefore, they take out their rage and frustration "on innocent civilians," he said.
Lynch said there is a need for "heightened awareness" for possible terrorist attacks in Iraq during the referendum and the December elections.
It's also imperative for U.S., Iraqi and coalition officials to continue to work closely with an Iraqi citizenry that is increasingly eager to identify terrorists hiding among the general population, Lynch said.
"The Iraqi people want to get the insurgency out of Iraq," Lynch explained, "so they continue in the democratic process and have a safe and secure environment."
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