Images: City council meeting in Haditha [Image 4 of 307]
During a daily foot patrol through the western Al Anbar Province town of Ubaydi, Iraq, Marines from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment mentor and advise Iraqi soldiers during military operations, in order to assist the fledgling Iraqi Army progress to eventually relieving Coalition Forces in Al Anbar Province. Once a week, local sheiks and city officials meet with Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces officials in Husaybah, Iraq - a small town near the Iraqi-Jordanian border - to discuss security, reconstruction projects and overall progress in this region along the Euphrates River. Iraqi leadership at the meeting said they are interested in seeing the Marines take a more 'back seat' role during security patrols and to allow the Iraqi soldiers and police to provide more security. "We need to see the Army and police protecting our law," said one sheik from Karabilah, Iraq. Still, several of the sheiks in the meeting said they feel security is improving in the region, which has seen its fair share of violence since 2003 when Coalition Forces forced Saddam Hussein out of power. "We can say now that the situation is good and the people feel safe, but many people are still worried about the cleanup of destroyed buildings," said one tribal leader.