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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Army takes control of four Baghdad districts

By Spc. Derek Del Rosario

BAGHDAD (Army News Service, Oct. 6, 2005) -- The 6th Iraqi Army Division took over authority of four Baghdad districts from the 3rd Infantry Division and Task Force Baghdad during a ceremony at Muthana Airfield Oct. 3.

Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Mohammad Khalaf al-Shumali, 6th IA Div. commander, raised the division’s colors, signifying the assumption of authority over Kharkh, Rusafa, Thawra and Adhamiyah districts of Baghdad. It was another step toward the Iraqi Army taking control of its own country, officials said.

During his speech, Mahmoud expressed confidence in his division and its ability to secure the Baghdad area.

“It is a great opportunity and a great event that we have been given the honor to receive responsibility of our units in these areas,” he said. “Our beloved Baghdad and its people should feel safe with our units responsible for their safety. We pledge to do our best to serve our people and to reconstruct our country.”

Maj. Gen. William G. Webster, Task Force Baghdad and 3rd Infantry Division commander, also participated in the ceremony and said he feels the transfer marks a significant chapter in the future of Iraq.

“Today is a great day for the Iraqi Army as the Baghdad Division assumes control of two of its brigades and begins to transition the security of Baghdad,” Webster said. “It signals that eventually the Iraqi Army will once again control the security of their country.”

The assumption of authority observance included drill and ceremony demonstrations by the 6th IA Div., where IA Soldiers marched past their commander on the reviewing stand.

“You can see in their eyes the pride that swells as these men take security of their own city,” Webster said. “We have been working hard to this day so the Iraqi Army can take control of this part of Baghdad. It’s a great step and will only strengthen the relationship between us.”

(Editor’s note: Spc. Derek Del Rosario serves with Task Force Baghdad PAO.)

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