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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

13 April 2006

Iraqi Infrastructure Attacks Down 60 Percent in Last Three Months

Decrease due to presence of 250,000 Iraqi security forces, U.S. general says

Washington -- Attacks against Iraq's vital infrastructure have decreased by 60 percent over the past three months, the spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq said April 13.

Army Major General Rick Lynch, who briefed reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Baghdad, said the decrease is directly due to the presence of 250,000 trained and equipped Iraqi security forces operating all across the country, conducting important missions.

To emphasize the effect of this increased Iraq-wide security presence, Lynch gave examples of recent operations in three different regions.

In the northern city of Tarmia, local officials came to the coalition forces and asked them to get rid of the terrorist insurgents there. On March 25 Iraqi forces, assisted by coalition troops, cordoned off the city, established two checkpoints, and then "worked through the city" to eliminate the terrorists, Lynch said.

On March 27, coalition forces set up a medical clinic, which treated 375 citizens on its first day.  City leaders then called for volunteers to join the Iraqi police force to give the city a permanent security presence.  Two thousand Iraqis volunteered, Lynch said, and 225 of those were selected to be trained and equipped a police academy in Jordan.

In the west, insurgent attacks in al-Anbar province have decreased from an average of 27 per day in October 2005 to about 18 a day now.  The residents continue to volunteer for police and army service, Lynch said. Since October 28, 2005, weapons caches have been found, he added.

In Baghdad, because the enemy considers it to be the most important target, security force patrols have risen from 12,000 in February to 20,000 in March -- a 45 percent increase, Lynch said.

On March 27, a raid near the Abu Ghraib area resulted in the death of a high-ranking al-Qaida leader in Iraq: Abu Omar al-Kurdi.  According to Multi-National Force-Iraq officials, his real name was Rafid Ibrahim Fattah, and his ties to al-Qaida dated to 1999, including personal contact with Osama bin Laden.  He was called “ambassador” in al-Qaida circles, and he established liaison between terrorist networks, and also became an operations officer in Iraq, Lynch said.

For additional information, see Iraq Update.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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