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Iraqi Security Operation To Start Soon – Iraqi, US Military February 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Military News, US News, World News.
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BAGHDAD (AP)–The general who will lead Iraqi forces in the coming security crackdown in Baghdad took charge Monday and a senior U.S. military official said the much-vaunted joint operation with U.S. forces to curb sectarian bloodshed would start “very soon thereafter.”

With the major security push in Baghdad believed to be just days, perhaps hours away, the U.S. military confirmed that Lt. Gen. Abboud Gambar, whose choice to lead the operation was reported by The Associated Press nearly a month ago, would lead the operation in Baghdad.

He was named to the top position under pressure from the U.S. military, which rejected Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s first choice – Lt. Gen. Mohan al-Freiji.

Gambar will have two Iraqi deputies, one on each side of the Tigris River that splits Baghdad north to south. The city was to be divided into nine districts, and there were to be as many as 600 U.S. forces in each district to back up Iraqi troops who will take the lead in the security drive. It will be the third attempt to restore calm since Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took office nearly nine months ago.

The coming security drive, for which U.S. President George W. Bush has dispatched 21,500 additional troops, was seen as a last-chance effort to quell the sectarian violence ravaging the capital and surrounding regions.

Sunday, an Interior Ministry official said about 1,000 Iraqis – including civilians, security forces and gunmen – had been killed in the last week alone.

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