News: ISF, MND-B leaders discuss Shaab, Ur phase of Operation Together Forward
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Brock
by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Brock
506th RCT PAO, 101st Abn. Div.
BAGHDAD – Maj. Gen. Bashar Mahmood Ayob, commander, 9th Iraqi Army Division; Brig. Gen. Emad Ismail Ali, commander, Adhamiyah Iraqi Police Station; and Col. Michael Shields, commander of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, discussed operations in Shaab and Ur during a press conference Tuesday at the old Ministry of Defense complex near Adhamiyah.
The Shaab and Ur clearance portion of Operation Together Forward began Sept. 14 and continues to improve the lives of Iraqis in the Baghdad area.
In the past two weeks, Iraqi Security Forces, along with MND-B Soldiers in support, have searched and cleared 36,835 houses and businesses and 23, and 23 mosques. The operation resulted in the discovery of five weapons caches and the seizure of nearly 500 illegal weapons.
Operation Together Forward is an Iraqi-led operation to help bring security and prosperity to the citizens of Baghdad.
"I believe it's very simple because Baghdad is the capital. The leadership is in Baghdad and, for that reason, the terrorists are trying to show that the leadership is weak," said Bashar. "For that reason, the security of Baghdad has priority over all Iraq."
Shaab and Ur is the second area to be cleared in east Baghdad in support of Operation Together Forward. The clearing phase of this operation was led by Iraqi Security Forces and the Alaska-based 172nd SBCT.
"Together, we performed clearing operations to provide increased security and stability for the people of Shaab and Ur," said Shields. "Great support was provided by the Iraqi police throughout the operation."
Leading the charge of the protect and build phase is the 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, along with the Iraqi army, Iraqi police and the Shaab and Ur Neighborhood Councils.
The protect and build phase includes starting infrastructure projects and adding more security checkpoints to keep the terrorists from moving back into the neighborhood.
Infrastructure projects include things like rebuilding sewers, getting water running and restoring other basic services, said Maj. Philip McIntire, commander, Company A, 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, serving with 506th RCT, 101st Abn. Div.
"True Iraqis will hope to live in peace and prosperity and condemn criminal acts," said Emad, referring to the need for cooperation from citizens to sustain the gains from Operation Together Forward.