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    'Unity and Cooperation' resonates during Sons of Iraq conference in Kirkuk, Iraq

    'Unity and Cooperation' resonates during Sons of Iraq conference in Kirkuk, Iraq

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Margaret Nelson | Col. David Paschal, commander, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division and Maj. Gen....... read more read more

    By Staff Sgt. Margaret C. Nelson
    1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division

    KIRKUK, Iraq – Kirkuk's provincial tribal leaders and Sons of Iraq representatives met with their Iraqi security forces' commanders and Soldiers of the1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division during the 'Unity and Cooperation' conference held at the Kirkuk police academy in Kirkuk City, Aug. 14, 2008.

    The conference opened with a moment to recognize Abu Saif, the province's first Concerned Local Citizen, as they were once referred, who organized and led the Multaka Knight Guards and was instrumental in the development of the province's Sons of Iraq program, according to Col. David Paschal, commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

    "Abu Saif was attacked by a coward yesterday; a terrorist - our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family for his quick recovery," Paschal said. Saif and three others on his staff were attacked by a suicide bomber driving a car-laden with explosives. No one was killed in the attack - all were seriously injured and currently hospitalized.

    The Task Force Warrior commander reminded those in the audience the attack against Abu Saif - an icon in the Kirkuk province - is a, "sobering reminder that terrorists still exist," and, "that they only wreak destruction on all the positive achievements that all of us have been able to accomplish in the last 10 months." The brigade commander was referring to the province's reconciliation and SoI efforts which have reduced violence by over 60% across the province.

    "Terrorists aren't interested in peace and reconstruction," he said. "They will do everything possible to defeat your efforts to bring security, peace and reconstruction to your neighborhoods."

    The conference continued with an emphasis on a reaffirmation of the importance of unity and cooperation between the ISFs and SoI members with the inclusion of the government of Kirkuk, and led to discussions on how better communication between the security forces could be achieved. After a countering of suggestions between ISF commanders and the various SoI and tribal leadership, a decision was made to emulate the successes of weekly meetings between the security forces, and SoI representation at district ISF Joint Communications Centers respectively - which is currently in effect in the district of Hawijah and some of its sub-districts.

    The 1-10th commander also pointed out the recent commencement of the Southern Kirkuk Civil Service Corps which will train and employ 500 citizens, including former Sons of Iraq members, in 4 districts of southern Kirkuk with other similar programs being instituted in other districts.

    "That's the first of eleven contracts that we are currently working on, but could not have been possible without all you - all your efforts in taking responsibility and securing your neighborhoods; your villages, and rejecting the terrorists' way of life," Paschal said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.15.2008
    Date Posted: 08.15.2008 23:11
    Story ID: 22548
    Location: KIRKUK, IQ 

    Web Views: 511
    Downloads: 274

    PUBLIC DOMAIN