Saturday, August 04, 2007

Commanders: Lack of equipment, air power hinder Iraqi takeover of security in Mosul

Above: Iraqi soliders ared trained by U.S. forces on a target range in Mosul in June.

MOSUL, Iraq — A deficiency in military equipment and air assets is hindering the ability of Iraqis to take over full security duties in Mosul, commanders from both sides said Thursday during a high-level visit by U.S. dignitaries.

Chief of Police Maj. Gen. Wathiq Mohammed Abd Alkhader, and Brig. Gen. Moutaa Habeeb Jassim — commander of the 2nd Iraqi Army Division — stressed they were low on vehicles, air support and technology to search for roadside bombs. Both men are based in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

“If you look at the police, you’ll see their vehicles are not fully armored … and yes, we also have a shortage of vehicles,” Moutaa told reporters during a press conference at Mosul Air Base in Iraq’s northern reaches.

Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the 1st Cavalry’s 4th Brigade, hosted the Iraqi leaders and was joined by Rear Adm. Mark Fox, communications division chief for Multi-National Forces – Iraq and several diplomats attached to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes