As Threats in Baghdad Shift, Coalition Shifts
By Jim Garamone
2004 – As the threats shift in Baghdad, coalition forces
are shifting to counter them, said Army Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey
during a press conference today in Baghdad.
the 1st Armored Division, which has control of the capital city.
He said the Iraqi security forces are playing a greater role in
the defense of their own territory.
forces in Baghdad have launched Operation Iron Promise, which
Dempsey said is designed to counter the new threats he has seen
in the capital over the last few months, indicating linkage between
international terrorism and Iraqi extremism.
words," he said, "there remains a domestic problem,
but it’s also taken on a characterization of international terrorism."
of the division, working with Iraqi security forces, are attacking
the source of the threats. In just one brigade’s area, Dempsey
said, the division had 22 individuals with these links. "Of
those 22 targets that we identified, we captured 16 of them in
the past 24 hours," he said.
are small, precise operations designed to create the least disturbance.
"We’re fairly confident that of those targets we captured,
we will be able to now exploit the intelligence we gain and make
our way into this linkage that I’m describing," he said.
component of the threat in Iraq, the general said, is personified
by a raid the 1st Armored carried out in Abu Ghuraib. The soldiers
captured a Jordanian about to set up an ambush on Iraqi police,
Dempsey said. He was affiliated with fugitive terrorist Abu Musab
incident, domestic terrorists were affiliated with extremist religious
elements. "We continue to work the intelligence to determine
how they work together, and they clearly do work together,"
terrorism won’t go away if the United States simply stops trying
to combat it. "The terrorists have a view of the world that
is far different from ours," he said.
want the future of your region to be one where you remain in approximately
the 7th century, where computers are banned, satellite television
is banned, (and) the role of women is completely denied, then
I suppose when sovereignty is restored to Iraq you may cast your
vote in that direction," he said. "But I happen to believe
in my heart that the majority of the Iraqi people will vote quite
the contrary to that."
security forces are taking over more and more of the mission in
Baghdad, Dempsey said. On the police side, the goal is for 19,000
Iraqi police in the city. There are currently 10,000 with another
2,000 in training. Six battalions of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps
are in the city and they are being trained and equipped. "They’re
trained up through the platoon level," Dempsey said. "Within
about the next month they’ll be trained fully at the company level."
The new Iraqi
army also is starting to come on line. "We mentor an Iraqi
army battalion up in Taji," the general said. "By July
there will be two additional battalions up there, for a total
is important, the general said, the coalition units must work
together. "We have to get to the point here where the Civil
Defense Corps and the police are comfortable working the streets
of Baghdad together, and the (Iraqi) army in support of that as
necessary," he said.