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Iraqi Security Forces Managing Recent Violence in Sadr City

Apr 07, 2008
BY Sgt. Mark Matthews

BAGHDAD (Army News Service, April 7, 2008) -- Even though the violence in Sadr City has recently risen, Iraqi Security Forces have increased their support for the residents living in the area.

“For the past several days the 11th Iraqi Army Division has been distributing immediate humanitarian assistance to the residents of south Sadr City,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commander of the 4th Infantry Division and Multi-National Division -- Baghdad. “This includes 38,000 water bottles, 30,000 meals, generators, and water purifiers. It's a nonstop effort in humanitarian aid.”

Hammond and Gen. Abud Qanbar Hashim, commander of the Baghdad Operations Command, spoke April 6 to members of the press. The two discussed violence in the Sadr City area and how American and Iraqi Soldiers work together and remain steadfast in bringing security and stability to the Iraqi people.

“Let there be no doubt (U.S. Forces) continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and back-back with our Iraqi counterparts in our fight against a common enemy -- al-Qaeda special groups and criminal elements,” Hammond said. “I remind you that the Iraqi soldier, National Policemen, and Coalition Forces sacrifice daily on behalf of protecting the people of Iraq.”

In response to recent events in the Sadr City, Abud said Iraqi forces are making great efforts to protect Iraqis and bring criminal elements to justice.

“Since these armed groups and criminal gangs who operate outside the law intensified the situation, our troops, in all sectors of Baghdad, have confronted these groups with (great) force and steadfastness,” Abud said. “These armed groups and criminal gangs have been the instigators in attacking our forces, and our forces were able, in a short time, to stop them from expanding their operations.”

Abud explained that the recent events in Sadr City not only prove the degree at which the partnership of ISF and U.S Forces operate, but also that the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police are becoming more experienced and more of a force to be reckoned with.

“This battle has proven that our units have improved in a big way,” Abud said. “And they were able to win the fight for the interest (of all Iraqis).”

Hammond also said the story of improvements in the ISF is going underreported, and the word must be spread.

“The real change I see is in the Iraqi Security Forces and the rule of law,” Hammond said. “What we see today is Iraqi Security Forces supporting the rule of law and a legitimate government and they are doing it in a way that I don’t think the story is truly getting out.”

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