Good News From Iraq

This is just a snapshot report from a short period of time, but anytime violence is down in Iraq as a result of U.S.-Iraqi strategy, it is good news and is worth passing along. It remains to be seen whether or not the trend will continue.

Attacks and killings in Baghdad have dropped by 80 per cent since Iraqi and US forces launched their security plan for Baghdad, Iraqi army spokesman Qasim al-Musawi said today.

“Terror operations in Baghdad dropped by 80 per cent,” since the Iraqi Government officially launched a broad plan aimed at snuffing out sectarian violence in the capital, Mr Musawi said.

“The morgue was receiving 40-50 bodies per day before and now has received only 20 in the last 48 hours,” said the spokesman for Lieutenant General Abboud Gambar, who commands a joint force of Iraqi soldiers and policemen.

Mr Musawi said that 144 people had been arrested in the four days since Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced the operation was underway. He said “they were wanted suspects and the arrests were not arbitrary.”

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who made an unannounced visit to Baghdad today, cautioned that it was too early to expect real results from the plan.

“The Baghdad security plan is just beginning to unfold and it’s important to realise it was never intended to be a single day, it was intended to ramp up over time,” Ms Rice said.

The Iraqi army spokesman said that sweeps through nests of illegal fighters had allowed 130 displaced families to return to their homes and stores to reopen for business.I don’t know whether or not any news organizations will deem it relevant to refer to this report when reporting the non-binding resolution debate in the Congress, but I have a feeling (call it a hunch) that if violence was UP 80 percent, they would be making the connection.

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