Thursday, June 22, 2006

Forward Together update; Maliki sends a powerful message to the militias.

It is day eight of operation forward together now, the operation so far has met some relative success according to an official statement from the ministry of defense:

Baghdad has witnessed a decrease in number of attacks; terror attacks in the past week-first week of operation forward together-were 19% less than attacks in the week before the operation was launched.

But the operation has also faced some serious security breaches like the suicide bombing in the Buratha mosque or the latest mass abduction of laborers just outside of Baghdad.
From day four we said that adjustments had to be made, today the authorities are discussing and preparing for these adjustments, and the reports are quite encouraging!

Yesterday Prime Minister al-Maliki told the commanders in charge of the ongoing security operation to give explanations for the disturbing security breaches that happened over the past week. He asked the commanders to identify the troublemaking entities "whoever they may be" and to deal firmly with them.

The answer came from the chief of operations in the defense ministry general AbdulAziz Mohammed who sent a message to the PM telling him that the presence of armed partisan militias was the major obstacle complicating the execution of the operation.

Al-Maliki's response to this info was quick, today the front page story on al-Sabah reports that al-Maliki promised to take decisive steps to overcome these obstacles and insisted that his government was determined to make this operation succeed.

Developments kept coming fast and soon after that general Mohammed told the local press that an important meeting is going to take place today [Thursday] between the Iraqi and American commanders to discuss plans to deal with the obstacles facing the operation that were identified as the presence of militias.

Brigadier AbdulJalil Khalaf, commander of the 1st brigade/6th IA division which is responsible for security in wide areas of Baghdad told al-Sabah that orders were given to the Iraqi soldiers to open fire on anyone seen carrying a weapon and does not belong to the official security forces "all weapons outside the official security forces or the MNF are enemy weapons and must be dealt with accordingly".

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