Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More from An Bar Province, Iraq--Update from a Soldier

Here are excerpts from an email from a US soldier currently stationed in An Bar Province in Iraq. He describes the current situation he is experiencing there.
When we arrived in February, we were averaging 30 – 35 attacks per day in our area of responsibility. Now our average is one attack per day or less. We had an entire week with no attacks in our area and have a total of over 65 days with no attacks. I attribute this success to our close relationship with the Iraqi security forces and the support those forces receive from the civilian population. The Iraqi police and army forces have uncovered hundreds of munitions caches and get intelligence tips from the local population every day.

....We recently received intelligence reports that terrorists were attempting to stage attacks from an area south of the city. We increased our offensive operations in that area and made contact with a large group of al Qaeda terrorists that were attempting to infiltrate into Ramadi. There were about 50 well-equipped and well-trained terrorists who were moving toward the city in two large trucks. They all had new equipment, weapons, and explosive belts. Their targets were the tribal leaders in Ramadi (we know this from propaganda videos taken off the terrorists). We attacked these terrorists using ground forces and attack helicopters, resulting in 40 enemy killed and three captured.
Col. J. Charlton, 3 ID, Ramadi

Ayman al Zawahiri, the nominal second in command of AQE (al qaeda, Earth), recently declared that Iraq was the central focus of the world jihad. If that is the case, then it behooves the coalition forces there to convince Iraqis that they want no part of jihad--and to do this as soon as possible. Their time there is limited.

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