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Operation Black Eagle City recovers through efforts of Iraqi Army and coalition partners

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Wednesday, 11 April 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20070411-16
April 11, 2007

Operation Black Eagle City recovers through efforts of Iraqi Army and coalition partners 4th BCT (Airborne), 25th Inf. Div. Public Affairs Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

DIWANIYAH, Iraq – As the fighting in Diwaniyah slowed, the government and military leaders of Operation Black Eagle met to discuss ways to begin rebuilding the city and provide humanitarian aid to the people most affected by the recent militia violence.

Maj. Gen. Oothman Farhood, commander of the 8th Iraqi Army Division, which is leading the operation, gathered his fellow coalition commanders
together with the local government to decide how to best help the residents of Diwaniyah.

“We are planning to ease restrictions on movement and allow the people to return to their normal lives,” said Oothman.

In order to reduce the militia’s opportunity to regroup, a curfew which has been in effect since the operation began, will continue. The curfew lasts from 8 p.m. through 6 a.m.

During the day, Oothman said residents are free to go about their daily activities.

According to transcripts from the meeting, the cordon around the city will be opened to allow more freedom of movement. This will allow humanitarian aid, food and other needed supplies to reach the people affected by the recent militia violence.

“The cordon was necessary in order to prevent terrorists from escaping the city or allowing them to receive re-enforcements or supplies from other parts of Iraq,” said Oothman said. “With this plan, we have been able to clean up terrorist activities which have been harming and intimidating the citizens.”

According to Maj. Gen. Pawell Lamla, commander of Multi National Division-Center South, some militia members were coming to Diwaniyah from as far away as Baghdad to conduct kidnappings, assassinations and assist in themilitia’s intimidation campaign.

The cordon and check points located around the city will remain in place in order to ensure safety and security, but four bridges will be opened to help ease the restrictions on movement into and out of the city. The Aorzidi Bridge, the Provincial Joint Coordination Center Bridge, the Hanging Bridge and the Al Dababa Bridge will be opened.

Some areas of the city will remain closed to the public due to on-going operations. In these areas, the Iraqi Army will provide security and transportation to students wishing to return to school.

“Our main goal was to provide safety and security to the people,” Lamla said. “In the last few days, we have achieved more success and I expect that major combat operations will finish up in the next few days.”

With the majority of combat operations drawing to a close and the next phase of Operation Black Eagle starting, the local government and their military counterparts were pleased with the results.

“A month ago, there were murders and assassinations causing instability,” said Al Qadasiyah province governor Khaleel Jaleel Hamza. “Thanks to the skill and brave efforts of the 8th Iraqi Army Division, security has returned.”

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FOR QUERIES, CONTACT MULT-NATIONAL DIVISION - BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS, MAJOR STEVEN LAMB BY E-MAIL AT STEVEN.LAMB@MNDB.ARMY.MIL; OR BY PHONE AT COMMERCIAL (914) 822-8174 OR IRAQNA 011-964-890-192-4674.

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