Thursday, September 06, 2007

Iraqi Army withdraws from Fallujah

Above: A policeman spreads mud over anti-American, pro al-Qaida graffiti spray painted the night before on the police station wall in Fallujah in June.

The last battalion of Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, withdrew from the Anbar Province city of Fallujah, Sept. 1, leaving the city’s security and stability in the hands of the local police and government.

Brig. Gen. Ali al-Hashemi, the brigade’s commander, said the time had come when Iraqi Police alone could handle law enforcement in the city.

“I am very confident in the IPs keeping the city safe. Besides, it is their job to work to keep the city safe,” al-Hashemi said through an interpreter. “It’s not the IA’s job. The army should not be inside the city. The police should be in the city”...

Initially the IA provided security over the city to give the fledgling police force time and breathing space to develop. Now with a strong force, the locals trust the IPs and are cooperating with counterinsurgent activities.

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