November 26th, 2006 03:32 EST
Iraqi Army conducts census, security operations
AR RAMADI — Iraqi Soldiers conducted a census and security operation in western Ramadi Friday to help maintain peace and stability in the region.
The 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Division of the Iraqi Army planned and executed the motorized, mechanized and dismounted operation employing T-72 Tanks, Humvees and dismounted patrols during the four-hour operation.
More than 100 Soldiers participated, demonstrating good communication between battalion elements. Iraqi Soldiers secured more than 75 structures during the operation.
“They demonstrated their ability to exercise command and control as a battalion sized combat unit,” said 1st Lt. Brett V. Taylor, advisor for 2-1-7 IA.
The operation sets the conditions for the 2-1-7 IA to assume the lead and take responsibility for their portion of the city. Once this area of operations is officially transferred to 2-1-7 IA, they will be the third and final battalion in the 1st Brigade, 7th IA to own an area here.
The battalion also conducted key leader engagements here and visited the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The IA coordinated the hospital visit with police from the Western Ramadi Police Substation and delivered medical supplies.
In Baghdad Friday, Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division conducted a patrol in Hurriya in response to media reports that four mosques were being burned as sectarian retaliation for the VBIED attacks in Sadr City Thursday.
The Soldiers set up a checkpoint near the al-Muhaimen mosque around 2 p.m., and found the mosque intact with no evidence of any fire at the location.
While investigating the al-Meshaheda mosque, the patrol received small-arms fire from insurgents. The patrol returned fire, and the insurgents broke contact and fled the area.
Nearly two hours later, an Iraqi civilian reported armed insurgents set the Al-Nidaa mosque on fire. The patrol pursued the insurgents but lost contact with them. They called the fire department and set up a cordon around the mosque.
Local fire trucks responded to the scene and extinguished the fire soon afterwards. The mosque sustained smoke and fire damage in the entrance but was not destroyed.
An alleged attack on a fourth mosque remains unconfirmed.
The 9th Iraqi Army is scheduled to graduate 568 recruits from basic training today at Camp Taji’s parade field. The recruits come from surrounding communities and will work in their “hometown division.”