Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Victory On The March

Central Command

At Camp Fallujah, Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassim checked the status of his forces at about 4 a.m., Nov. 9, while his soldiers engaged the insurgents in the city—the night sky flashing sporadically from artillery rounds and tracers from small arms fire.

“Before I came to Fallujah, I asked a cleric if I should come here and he told me, ‘Yes, you must go. It is God’s will. God be with you,” Qader said.

Fallujah, Iraq – Early this morning, multinational and Iraqi officials here stated that forces had fought their way through half of the city, including the Jolan District, suspected of being the epicenter of insurgent activity in the city. The combined Iraqi and multinational force operation had encountered light resistance along the way into the heart of the city, running into small pockets of fighters as they made their way through the restive town.

Forces of Operation Al Fajr, Arabic for “dawn,” have retaken key civic buildings, including Fallujah’s mayoral office, which was taken over by multinational and Iraqi forces at about 4 a.m. today. Several mosques, key bridges and other military and civic buildings have also been retaken. Insurgent reinforced strongholds in and around the city have been destroyed, including insurgent defensive positions on the outskirts of the city.

Reports from combat units indicate that several weapons and explosives caches have been found, as well as car bombs and improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs.

Yesterday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Ayad Allawi announced that Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassim, the Iraqi ground forces commander in Fallujah, was appointed as the interim military governor of the Western Anbar province until a civilian can take control of the area once order is restored. The province includes Fallujah.

The appointment comes as multinational and Iraqi forces continue their operation “on schedule and as planned,” officials here stated.

In recently liberated Al-Sadr City:
Making the job of finding IEDs a little bit easier, local residents regularly tell 1st BCT patrols of explosives that have been installed near their homes. Such intelligence, combined with other sources, is then compiled into a list of potential ‘targets’ for the 766th and the 20th to neutralize during daily missions.

“It’s promising to see that people realize we’re here to help,” Distefano said.

Improvements to the living conditions of other areas of Baghdad have often correlated with a decrease in insurgent activity, making clearing IEDs in Sadr City an essential step towards stability in the region.

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