Victories during May
BAGHDAD , Iraq -- The people of Iraq , with help from Coalition member nations, have claimed many victories in the past month. For example, hundreds of construction projects have been completed and peace officers by the thousands have graduated from brand-new academies.
Large and small daily accomplishments marked progress toward Iraqi self-reliance in May.
. Some contributed directly to combating terrorism while others facilitated reconstruction and economic development. Educational goals for the future of Iraq gained a toehold as schools opened and children began to attend classes. Pumping stations, electrical engineering projects and hospitals went from paper constructs to moving earth, even as earth was moved to uncover anti-Iraqi forces and bring them to justice.
What follows is a partial list of those successes, compiled chronologically from press releases and media advisories provided by the Iraqi and Coalition press desks which reported the events as they happened.
On May 3, saw Prime Minister Ibrahim al Ja'afari's was cabinet sworn in as the first freely-elected government in more than 30 years. Iraqi government officials then announced the capture of a former regime insider Aymen Sabawi, one of the sons of Saddam Hussein's half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti. The Sabawi brothers played an active role in terrorism by providing financial support, weapons and explosives, and have allegedly used neighboring Arab countries as safe havens to plan and launch their attacks.
Pressure from Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces operating near Bayji led to the May 4 surrender of wanted Iraqi terrorist Nabil Badriyah Al Nasiri. The detainee was suspected of being involved in improvised explosive device attacks and other terrorist activities.
The very next day, eight Iraqi engineer interns from the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works completed a six-day training course in Baghdad , which familiarized them with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers standard construction practices. Also on May 5, the Iraqi Police Service graduated 180 police officers from advanced and specialty courses at the Adnan Training Facility. The courses consisted of basic criminal investigations, interview and interrogations, internal controls investigation, critical incident management, and first line supervision.
Construction was completed on the Al Huwayr Police Station, a $166,000 project in the Al Midaina District, Basrah Governorate, on May 6. On May 7, the U.S. Agency for International Development's work to rehabilitate Rustimiyah's north waste-water treatment plant was functionally, if not cosmetically, completed. The plant serves approximately 1.8 million Baghdad residents.
On May 7, 11 Iraqi Army Soldiers and seven civilian emergency medical service providers completed an 8-week advanced emergency medical technician course in Kirkuk taught by Coalition Forces. The following day, Coalition Forces announced the capture of Amar Adnan Muhammad Hamzah al-Zubaydi, better known as Abu al Abbas, in Baghdad . Al Abbas was allegedly the key planner for both the April 2 attack on Abu Ghraib and the series of car-bomb attacks carried out within greater Baghdad on April 29.
Construction was completed on Bayji Railway Station May 9. The station is a $1.5 million commercial railway station project in the Bayji District, Salah Al-Din Governorate. That same day, acting on a tip from a local citizen, Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces discovered a car-bomb factory while conducting cordon-and-search operations. In addition to finding two prepared car bombs and large quantities of bomb-making materials, 34 suspected terrorists were detained.
Officials from the Corps of Engineers, the Iraqi Border Patrol, Multi-National Force-Iraq, and the Project Contracting Office commemorated the first border-post opening in southern Iraq , at Al Zaid, on the Iran-Iraq border on May 10. The Corps of Engineers also entered into an agreement that day to educate Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works engineers from across the country in a six-day course taught here. The interns received hands-on experience at construction sites in Baghdad 's International Zone.
The Mosul Regional Contracting Center completed “Vendor Information Day,” and “Iraqi Business Women Training Seminar,” in Dohuk , Iraq on May 11. These seminars helped to establish communications and initial contact with prospective Dohuk vendors. The events provided information to over 150 businessmen on how to contract with the Mosul RCC. Information was also provided to 21 aspiring businesswomen from the Dohuk Women's Union regarding establishment, contracting procedures, and business-owner set-asides for women.
The Iraqi Police graduated 1,469 police officers from basic police training courses in Al Hillah and Baghdad May 12. The 517 Al Hillah Regional Academy police recruits and 952 Baghdad Police College had completed an eight-week course. The Baghdad class included 16 female police recruits. Also on May 12, Coalition Forces provided water pumps to assist with the start up of the Ramadi Glass Factory, estimated to employ more than 2,000 workers.
May 13 was eventful as Iraqi and Coalition Forces apprehended Muthana al Duri in a joint operation conducted near Tikrit. Al Duri, a bodyguard and intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's regime, was suspected of being a key member of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri's inner circle, and may be a leader of a terrorist cell involved in improvised explosive device attacks.
Coalition Forces successfully completed Operation Matador, a seven-day operation in and around the western Euphrates River cities of Al Qaim, Karabilah, Ramana and Ubaydi, May 14. The operation was designed to disrupt terrorist network activities near the Iraqi border with Syria . During Operation Matador, a significant number of terrorists were killed and many others were wounded. U.S. Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen worked with their Iraqi counterparts to detain 139 terrorists.
Engineers in Iraq marked their 1000th reconstruction project May 15 with the completion of work at a school in the northern-most province of Dahuk . The Corps of Engineers, responsible for oversight of reconstruction in Iraq , renovated the Betas School on the outskirts of Zahko. Renovations to the school included replacement of water and sewer fixtures, the laying of a concrete floor and terrazzo tiles, installation of ceiling fans, interior and exterior lights and a school bell. Repairs were also made to the school safety wall. Another completed project was hailed on that day, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the Iraqi Ground Forces Headquarters building. Iraqi Gen. Abdul Qadir Jassim, commanding, said the location of the new headquarters building was a starting place from which to grow the new Iraqi Army.
On May 16, work was completed at the first two of four rail stations scheduled for renovation in Kirkuk Governate. The Corps of Engineers was responsible for that project. The Al Rahmman School, an $88,000 project in Al Maimouna, Missan Governorate, was done the next day. The Al Rahmman School is the first of 13 mud-school replacement projects in Missan to be completed. The new school replaced three mud schools. More than 200 children, grades 1-5, are scheduled to attend the new school beginning in August.
Construction was completed on the Daghghara Police Station check point, a $106,800 project in the Diwaniya District, Al Qadisiyah Governorate on May 18. The Kirkuk Business Center held a reconstruction contracts conference. The conference, the first of its kind, brought together construction companies, local government, and contracting offices to explain the process for bidding on projects. Three hundred people attended representing 100 Iraqi companies.
The Hamourabi village road, a project that spans more than four kilometers and had a production cost of roughly $565,000, was completed May 19. Iraqi Police graduated 1,229 Public Order Battalion officers the same day. The officers had completed a six-week training program conducted at the Civil Intervention Force Academy on a military base in Numaniyah. During the six-week course, they received training in policing skills, weapons training, urban operations, and close-quarters tactics as well as human rights and police ethics.
Polish and Iraqi Soldiers nabbed 184 terror suspects and seized weapons parts, ammunition, possible bomb-making materials and propaganda in As Suwaryah May 20.
Another special police forces academy opened and 106 students began that institution's first four-week police course in marksmanship, counter-terrorism tactics, human rights, and first aid. This class is a train-the-trainer course. Half of the students will teach future courses at the academy, while the rest will return to the special police forces as in-unit trainers. That academy started its first class May 22.
Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces detained 285 suspected terrorists in the western Baghdad district of Abu Ghraib in less than 24 hours during Operation Squeeze Play on May 23. Meanwhile, 42 Soldiers from the Iraqi Army completed the Basic Intelligence Mobile Training Team course for staff officers and non-commissioned officers.
Headmasters at three mud schools took charge of their new brick-and-concrete replacement schools as the Corps of Engineers signed the schools over to the Babil Province education minister May 24. All three mud-school replacement buildings have 12 classrooms instead of the usual six. The cost was about $160,000 per school.
On May 25, Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces initiated Operation New Market, or Souk Jadeed, in and around the city of Haditha . The operation focused on disrupting terrorist activity in the vicinity and maintaining pressure on terrorists which had begun with Operation Matador. Approximately 1,000 Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces participated.
The Interior and Defense ministers of the then-three-week-old Iraqi government announced the commencement of Operation Al Barkh on May 26, shifting the new government from a defensive to an offensive posture in its efforts to disrupt terrorist activities in Baghdad .
Pile-driving for the foundation of the Basrah Children's Hospital reached the measurable 75 percent milestone May 27. The 94-bed hospital will provide in-patient and out-patient care, serving as a model pediatric facility and benefiting thousands of Iraqi children.
Sixteen Iraqi officers and 18 senior Non- commissioned officers departed for Infantry Battle School , Wales , to start a 10-week train-the-trainer course May 28. The course, tailored to Iraqis, is designed to equip the Iraqi military academy instructors with all the tools required to deliver high quality instruction to the future leaders of the Iraqi military.
On May 30, city leaders in Taza coordinated with Coalition Forces to acquire the funding to repair roads in the Kirkuk Province community, and Multi-National Corps – Iraq approved a civil military initiative to provide $10 million for 100 self contained and modular water-treatment plants for rural villages. These plants are expected to provide clean drinking water for the citizens of surrounding villages.
Finally, 90 new Iraqi Police officers reported for duty in Fallujah on May 31. The arrival of these police officers signifies another positive step in the city's steady recovery from a time six months ago when terrorists were removed during Operation Al Fajr. During the month of May more than $72 million worth of work was completed. These projects included 29 police stations, 64 schools, 12 railroad stations, two courthouses, nine public works and water projects, eight border posts, three fire stations, five military base projects, three postal facilities and a total of 14 miscellaneous electrical, sewer, transportation and public building projects.
THE MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE - IRAQ COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER PROVIDED EDITORIAL SERVICES FOR THIS RELEASE. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC TOPICAL ITEMS, CONTACT THE MNF-I CPIC BY E-MAIL AT CPICPRESSDESK@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL OR AT THE TELEPHONE NUMBERS ABOVE.
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