Sunday, February 25, 2007

Perspective: Trouble in Ramadi

Soldiers search for insurgents in houses located across the street from Outpost 293 in Ramadi, Iraq, after a gunfire and mortar attack on the outpost.

RAMADI, Iraq — The Iraqi Police major sat at a plywood desk, puffing on a Miami cigarette.

It had been three weeks since he and a small contingent of young police officers moved into Combat Outpost Iron, a small joint security station on the southern edge of downtown Ramadi, and the major was getting frustrated.

Although he was a respected sheik and a veteran of Saddam Hussein’s army — a top pedigree for this Sunni Arab city — the major said he and his men were having difficulty getting downtown residents to cooperate with them and share information on insurgent activity.

“When we came here, the people were very pleased to see Iraqi Police here,” said Maj. Obrahim Jassim. “But they are scared to deal with us. The Iraqis as a people don’t scare easily, but this al-Qaida organization is very strong. They are murderers and they do not hesitate to kill anyone.”

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes