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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

American Forces Press Service

Papers Outline Iraq's Progress in 2004

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2005 - In less than a year, Iraqi military ground forces have grown from one operational battalion to 21 - and counting.

Iraq's navy now sports five 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment. The country's air force has three operational squadrons equipped with nine reconnaissance aircraft and three U.S. C-130 transport aircraft. And Iraq's special operations forces include a counterterrorist force and a commando battalion.

These count among a multitude of accomplishments across the spectrum of the Iraqi interim government, reported in a series of just-released fact sheets by Multinational Force Iraq and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

"In 2004, Iraqi forces fought alongside coalition forces in Najaf, Samarra, Fallujah, Baghdad, North Babil, Mosul, and a host of other locations," reads a fact sheet on Iraqi security forces. "In Fallujah alone, Iraqi forces lost eight of their members and had more than 40 wounded. Well over a thousand others have also lost their lives serving their country."

And officials add that although Iraqi forces have sustained casualties in many attacks, there's no shortage of volunteers.

Facts are included also on the growth of the Ministry of Interior's Iraqi police forces, which number more than 55,000.

Other year-in-review documents list and discuss coalition troop contributions - from the U.S.' 148,000 to Norway's 10. Besides the U.S. contingent, other countries supporting Multinational Force Iraq range from South Korea and Japan, to Latvia and Estonia, to Italy and the United Kingdom, to Georgia and Azerbaijan, to the Netherlands, to El Salvador.

Plus, there's information on operational feats by units such as the Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft detachment, the Macedonian Special Forces and Ukraine's 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

Another point paper states that more than 1,100 reconstruction projects are under way, including 364 schools, 67 health clinics, 83 railroad stations and 93 water and sewage plants. Also, as of Dec. 29, 2004, some 108,000 local Iraqis have been hired to work on these projects.

The paper also outlines progress during the year in improving essential services - water, electricity and education, among others.

On a more somber note, there's a timeline of atrocities by insurgents, starting with two French nationals shot and killed in Fallujah on Jan. 6, 2004, and ending with 12 Iraqi police officers' death at a Dijila police station on Dec. 28. That fact sheet also lists March 2 as "worst day of violence" where "sophisticated and simultaneous attacks" killed up to 223 Iraqis, as well as the March 31 deaths of the four U.S. contractors whose bodies were burned, dragged and strung up.

On the Iraqi economy, a fact sheet points out that oil revenues totaled $18.1 billion in 2004 and that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened for trading on June 24.

A final sheet lists the 47 countries with established embassies in Iraq and 28 Iraqi government ministries.


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