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Published:July 12th, 2007 15:47 EST
Iraqi People, Coalition Join Against al-Qaeda

Iraqi People, Coalition Join Against al-Qaeda

By SOP newswire

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq held an operational update on al-Qaeda in Iraq Wednesday at the Combined Press Information Center.

Bergner named al-Qaeda in Iraq as the principal near-term threat to Iraq.  “The government of Iraq, Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces are engaged in a tough fight against al-Qaeda and in particular it’s extremist ideology and leadership," said Bergner.

However, Bergner said both Iraqi and Coalition forces are making progress in the fight against al-Qaeda. 

“We are pursuing those who run those networks, and we are enabled by increasing amounts of information from local citizens and increasing resolve by the Iraqi people to fight al-Qaeda," he said. 

Bergner said Coalition forces captured or killed 26 high level al-Qaeda leaders during May and June of this year along with hundreds of al-Qaeda members. 

“We are conducting operations throughout Iraq," he said, “with particular effectiveness in Mosul and Baghdad."

Operations are also impacting al-Qaeda’s infrastructure, Bergner said.  Last month Al-Furqan Media productions, an al-Qaeda media center near Samarra, was uncovered.  The facility was a major media production and distribution center producing CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products.  The facility contained documents clearly identifying al-Qaeda’s intent to use media as a weapon, said Bergner. 

Bergner went on to say that Coalition forces are “taking the fight to the enemy before they have the opportunity to strike at innocent civilians in population centers."

This month Coalition forces thwarted an al-Qaeda effort to attack Ramadi, said Bergner.  The successful operation resulted in 35 al-Qaeda terrorists being killed and three others being captured.

“This engagement was an example of Coalition forces operating in areas that have served as al-Qaeda sanctuaries in the past," said Bergner.

Bergner said while operations against al-Qaeda continue, the Coalition is supporting the Iraqi government in restoring basic services to areas once dominated by al-Qaeda.

“The Iraqi government has now restored food and medical shipments to Baquba for the first time in some 10 months," said Bergner.

Enough food and medical supplies have been delivered to support the entire population of Baquba, Bergner said.

SOURCE:  MNF