Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good News

In today's edition of Good News, we have two stories to report.

Iraqi army and coalition soldiers discover weapons cache:

Soldiers and Paratroopers from the 1st Company, 4th Iraqi Army Division and Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, discovered a weapons cache during Operation Delta Snag on Sept. 14 in Salah ad Din province, northwest of Samarra.
Iraqi soldiers led the mission in which they discovered more than 300 82 mm mortar rounds, 79 fuses, seven 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, four 130 mm mortar rounds and a cell phone. Three individuals were also detained during the Iraqi-led operation.
It is important to note the increasing role of Iraqis in these raids, especially their leadership and organization of them. Additionally, a large majority of the major attacks recently have been mortar attacks. Raids such as this will further serve to cripple terrorists' abilities to cause havoc in Iraq.

Dhi Qar: Rich past, hopeful future:
With all its history in tow, Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq is looking toward the future. It’s scheduled later this month to become the second of Iraq’s 18 provinces to be transferred to provincial Iraqi control.

This means Coalition security forces will pull back and let the local provincial police and Iraqi military handle security of the province, a key step for the eventual withdrawal of Coalition forces from the country.

Both Coalition officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have said they hope to have all 18 of the country’s provinces under Iraqi control by the end of next year.

Thats right -- by October we will be 1/9 of the way finished. The end is near; the plan is for total Iraqi control by the end of 2007. As Gen. John Abizaid, US CENTCOM Commander, says,
"Look...I know where we started. We started with zero in the Iraqi army and police. Now we're up to well over 300,000. They have their good days. They have their bad days. Iraqi troops are fighting and dying for their country at double the rate that our own troops are taking casualties. The Iraqi troops become more and more effective over time. No doubt there have been some instances where Iraqi units have failed to perform their duties, but it's getting better over time. We're making progress in that regard, and that's the most important thing can I say."