April 1st, 2007 07:39 EST
Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers give humanitarian aid to Tal'Afar
TAL`AFAR " Iraqi security forces and Tal`Afar civic leaders provided aid and humanitarian assistance to Tal`Afar citizens displaced by the terrorist bombing Wednesday.
The Iraqi military coordinated and flew a critical airlift resupply mission to Iraqi ground forces who distributed supplies to the population.
Coalition civil affairs teams provided assessments, making sure the aid was funneled through Iraqi leaders to areas who needed it most.
On Saturday, Tal`Afar mayor and Coalition Force spokesmen, Najim Abdallah, Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team and Lt. Col. Malcom Frost, commander of 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment held a news conference to answer questions.
The conference was specifically designed to address the Iraqi populace and featured two Iraqi news stations, Al- Araqnia, and Al-Diyar.
When asked why terrorists attacked Tal`Afar, and whether Tal`Afar will become a time bomb " of sectarian strife, Abdallah reaffirmed unity.
We are the biggest city close to the Syrian border. Enemy eyes are open to this city because of its diverse population, all living and working together in peace. They will take any chance to target it. We`ve killed many terrorists; and the enemy will find any hole to use to their advantage, " Abdallah said.
Further solidifying the unity of the city`s inhabitants, Abdallah added, Sunni and Shiite came together to hold one mass funeral for the victims of the terrorist violence. "
When questioned about Tal`Afar`s example of progress one year ago being damaged, Frost urged the community to take an objective look.
It is both foolish and immature to let this one event represent the progress Tal`Afar has made. You have to look at the schools, and the medical clinics, and the cooperation between the citizens to see [the real Tal`Afar], " Frost said.
He then addressed the Iraqis affected by the violence.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the families who are suffering from this [terrorist act]. It was executed by cowards against the elderly, against women and children, and will not divide this city. "
Twitty also expressed confidence in the Iraqi Security Forces of Tal`Afar.
There is no sectarian divide in Tal`Afar. Iraqi security forces have a strong presence on the streets, Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police are doing what they need to secure and police the streets, " he said.
Abdallah reiterated his call for unity and denounced the terrorist attempt to divide the city.
Tal`Afar will never become a "time bomb` and will always be an example of how Iraqis can be united together. The people will not be separated, " Abdallah said.
(By Multi-National Division " North PAO)