June 9th, 2007 13:40 EST
Adhamiyah: Security Operations Continue
BAGHDAD — Iraqi and Coalition Soldiers conducted a battalion-sized cordon and search operation after the completion of a security project in the Adhamiyah District Thursday.
The 1st and 3rd Battalions of 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division conducted Operation Tiger Hammer with the support of Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
The four-hour operation netted nine detainees and 38 illegal weapons after the completion of the “Safe Neighborhoods” Project May 28.
The “Safe Neighborhoods” Project involved clearing the streets of broken down or burned-out vehicles in Adhamiyah and placing temporary barriers to protect the local residents from vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
The residents in the area used the broken down vehicles as improvised barriers to keep sectarian violence outside, said U.S. Army Capt. Jared Purcell, a spokesman of the 1st Bn. 26th Inf. Reg. “Blue Spaders.”
“Since we started building the wall, we’ve already seen a noticeable decrease in violence,” said Purcell.
The temporary barriers were originally perceived by residents as a Berlin Wall-like partition dividing neighbor from neighbor. However, violence has been reduced by 61 percent in Adhamiyah since its implementation.
“We will be in the community with an ear open as to how people feel about the walls, as well as how it is improving security,” said Purcell.
Tiger Hammer began after sunrise Thursday when Coalition troops established blocking positions around the neighborhood while Iraqi Soldiers fanned out through the streets and searched houses and apartment complexes for weapons and contraband.
“This just shows the commitment of the Iraqi Army to protecting the people of Adhamiyah by going after criminals and terrorists who to create instability and hinder progress,” said U.S. Army Capt. Leon McGill, a transition team advisor.
As Iraqi and Coalition troops continue to improve security in the Iraqi capital, Iraqi government officials are expected to focus on reconstruction measures such as providing electricity and water in local neighborhoods.
(U.S. Army story compiled by Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)