News: Iraqi counter-terrorism forces graduates another class of elite Soldiers
BAGHDAD — Soldiers of the Iraqi counter-terrorism forces welcomed their newest members during a graduation ceremony held on an Iraqi military compound outside of Baghdad Sept. 5.
ICTF is one of Iraq's leading special operations commands. They are designed to be the proverbial tip of the spear, aimed at the heart of those committed to terrorism and sectarian lawlessness in Iraq.
Soldiers of ICTF serve Iraqi court-ordered warrants to apprehend the most dangerous terrorists threatening Iraq. They are highly trained and carefully selected from the Iraqi special operations forces under the direction of Iraq's counter-terrorism bureau commanded by Army Maj. Gen. Abdu Ghani.
ISOF prides itself as a force dedicated to rejecting sectarianism and respecting human rights, including the rights of the people they apprehend.
"One day the people of Iraq will introduce themselves not as Sunni, or Shiite or Muslim or Christian or Kurdish, but as Iraqi," said Abdu Ghani as he congratulated his men on their graduation. "And we will always respect the dignity of all members of our great society."
The graduation was a final celebration that marked the culmination of rigorous training which included physical endurance, marksmanship and hostage rescue.
"ICTF Soldiers are not like any other men. They have light in their hearts and fire in their step," said an ICTF instructor.
Along with testing the physical limitations and technical expertise of those wanting to serve with ICTF, the training program also put to the test the resolve and dedication these soldiers have to their country.
Upon graduation, ICTF Soldiers will be expected to work side by side with their seasoned brethren almost immediately. They will become part of a team dedicated to the creation of a safe and secure Iraq.
In addition to Ghani, among those attending the graduation ceremony was Iraqi Staff Brig. Gen. Kareem Abood Mohammad, Commander of ISOF's 2nd. Brigade, Maj. Gen. Fadhel Al-Barwari, Commander of ISOF's 1st. Brigade, and U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Mangum, the commanding general of the Iraq national counter-terrorism force transition team.
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