Theodore's World: U.S. Combat Forces Turning Over Security of Cities in Iraq

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July 01, 2009

U.S. Combat Forces Turning Over Security of Cities in Iraq

Army Capt. Rich Turvey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, signs over Joint Security Station Salaam to Iraqi army 1st Lt. Jassim Abbas at a transfer ceremony near Numaniyah, Iraq, June 20, 2009. In accordance with the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, Iraqi security forces took full ownership of security in their cities, towns and villages on June 30, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson


Withdrawal Marks Historic Day for Future of Iraq, General Says

By Army Staff Sgt. Dave Lankford



In accordance with Article 5 of the security agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments, Iraqi security forces now have full ownership of security in their cities, towns and villages.

“As of today, U.S. combat forces will turn over the security of cities to Iraqi security forces, and begin a period where our primary security role is one of training, mentoring and advising the ISF,” said Army Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Multinational Division South commander. “Today’s ISF is capable, ready and dedicated to keeping the people of Iraq safe.”

Nash praised the dedication of the Iraqi security forces as well as the proficiency of U.S. and coalition forces, and attributed the successful implementation of the security agreement to their actions.

“Iraq’s successes and significantly improved security are a testament of the ISF’s progress and its dedication to Iraq’s sovereignty,” Nash said. “The Iraqis have made strides in their ability to protect their citizens, and our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are doing a great job in helping them build both their security forces and their civil capacity.”
Though U.S. and coalition forces no longer will inhabit Iraqi cities, they will continue to support the Iraqi security forces within the parameters of the security agreement, Nash said.
“Leaving the cities does not mean that we are backing off,” he said. “Instead, it indicates our confidence in the Iraqis to safeguard their own citizens. Likewise, the security agreement is a tangible, positive sign of a mature relationship between two sovereign nations.”

In accordance with agreement, U.S. forces will withdraw from all Iraqi territory by Dec. 31, 2011. Today will be remembered as a significant step toward the realization of that objective, Nash noted.

“So, on this important day of transition in Iraq, our two nations move forward together as friends, with the shared goal of the safety and security of the Iraqi people,” he said. “I am very encouraged about the future success of Iraq.”

Gen. Raymon Oderno, commnading general, Multi-National Forces-Iraq pays tribute at the Monument of the Unkown Solidiers, June 30.

Iraqi officials and military commanders place flowers on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to stand a minute to read (Surat Al-Fatihah) for the lives of the martyrs of Iraq.

As U.S. Meets Withdrawal Deadline, Baghdad Declares Holiday

As the United States completed its withdrawal of combat forces from Iraqi cities in accordance with today's deadline, Baghdad commemorated the milestone with a national holiday.

The departing American brigades and battalions leave behind a significantly smaller contingent of U.S. trainers and advisors in the cities, where Iraqi forces now have primary authority, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said.

Meanwhile, news reports from Baghdad describe Iraqis marking the day with a military parade attended by Iraqi reporters and dignitaries in the international area known as the "Green Zone" at the official monument to an unknown soldier.

Similar celebrations took place around the country in recent days as the American drawdown from cities neared completion.

But today's transfer of responsibility to Iraqi security forces represents a "significant milestone," Odierno said.
"It is a day when Iraqis celebrate as they continue to move towards exercising their full sovereignty," he said. "The Iraqi people should be very proud of the dedication, progress and sacrifice of the Iraqi security forces and the government of Iraq. Their accomplishments in preparing for this day are commendable."
As Iraqis secure the cities, Odierno said, U.S. forces are establishing a layer of defense outside the urban areas, conducting full-spectrum and stability operations alongside Iraqis to eliminate safe havens, crack down on insurgents and stem the flow of foreign fighters. U.S. forces also will support civil efforts led by the U.S. Embassy, the Iraqi government, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, he said.
"Our combat forces, partnering with the Iraqi security forces, will secure the belts and borders in an attempt to eliminate safe havens and sanctuaries and to limit freedom of movement of insurgents and prevent the facilitation of foreign fighters through the borders," he said.
As Iraqis celebrate a nationwide holiday highlighting their added responsibility, Americans also can be proud of the efforts by U.S. forces to stabilize Iraq, which last month had the lowest levels of violence since the war began six years ago, the general noted.
"The American people can also be very proud, as well, of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as our civilians, who have worked so hard over the past years -- and tirelessly -- and sacrificed so much in helping the people of Iraq progress towards a peaceful and democratic society," Odierno said.

U.S. Soldiers with 1-150th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division assist Iraqi Army Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Brigade, 17th Division, conduct checkpoint operations in Yusi Fiyah Nahia, Mahmudiyah, Baghdad, Iraq

Maj. Jacob Evans, team chief for Military Transition Team 0228, instructs an Iraqi Soldier on the proper placement of the flag on a uniform aboard Camp Hamza, Iraq



Wild Thing's comment.......

OK now I want to show you something, this was

June 30, 2009
Obama statement on Iraq

Transcript from President Obama's remarks on Iraq:Today American troops have transferred control of all Iraqi cities and towns to Iraq's government and security forces.

This transition was agreed to last year as part of our status of forces agreement with the sovereign Iraqi government. It's a part of our strategy to responsibly end the war by removing all American combat brigades from Iraq by next September and all of our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

So the Iraqi people are rightly treating this day as a cause for celebration. This is important step forward as a sovereign and united Iraq continues to take control of its own destiny.

With this progress comes responsibility. Iraq's future is in the hands of its own people, and Iraq's leaders must now make some hard choices necessary to resolve key political questions, to advance opportunity and to provide security for their towns and their cities.

In this effort America will be a strong partner to the Iraqi people on behalf of their security and prosperity.
Now, make no mistake, there will be difficult days ahead. We know that the violence in Iraq will continue. We see that already in the senseless bombing in Kirkuk earlier today. And there are those who will test Iraq's security forces and the resolve of the Iraqi people through more sectarian bombings and the murder of innocent civilians.
But I'm confident that those forces will fail.

The future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy. ( Obama has done nothing BUT try to destroy, That is all he has done with America since he was sworn in and that is all he has tried to do with the moral and non funding of our troops in the war. Destroy should be his middle name. ~ Wild Thing)

And today's transition is further proof that those who have tried to pull Iraq into the abyss of disunion and civil war are on the wrong side of history. ( that has Obama's name written all over it! ~ Wild Thing)

Finally, the very fact that Iraqis are celebrating this day is a testament to the courage, the capability and commitment of every single American who has served in Iraq. Through... That's worth applauding.

Through tour after tour of duty, our troops have overcome every obstacle to extend this precious opportunity to the Iraqi people. ( Obama get real , you are the big ole Muslim loving Military hating OBSTACLE!~ Wild Thing)

And these women and men are not always in the headlines, but they're our hearts and prayers. And we will forever honor their selfless service and sacrifice, as well as the service and sacrifice of their families.
There's more work to be done, but we've made important progress in supporting a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq. And everyone who's served there, both in uniform as well as our civilians, deserves our thanks.

Now, it's fitting that we're here today to talk about what each of us can do to lift up this nation, because our troops' sacrifice challenges all of us to do what we can do to be better citizens. That's what the people that you've heard from already are doing every single day.


Obama is so full of it! He makes my stomach turn.


Posted by Wild Thing at July 1, 2009 06:55 AM


I have no doubt that our troops have done well. They have severly hurt but not completely destroyed the enemy. Our troops have also done a great job building up and training the Iraqi military and police forces.

However, the US military commanders did not want an arbritary(political) date to pull out. If they thought we need another year, then we need another year. Maybe events will work out and all will succeed. But, I can't help but remember 1973 and how the politicians told us that things would work out in Vietnam also.

Posted by: TomR at July 1, 2009 12:46 PM

Let me begin with; Obama is a lying, pontificating son of a bitch with no intention of supporting the military or any of former president Bush's foreign commitments.

Let's see if I even have a faint grasp on the situation. We have won the Iraqi battles, we have rebuilt the Iraqi infrastructure and we are pulling out the combat troops who have been patrolling, keeping the peace and protecting Americans as well as Iraqi's.
That leaves the Iraqi police, Iraqi military and benevolent Iraqi people to protect the remaining Americans. Skeptical, naw not me?

Under current ROE's Iraq has total sovereignty and prosecutoral authority toward Americans who might have to defend themselves. Notwithstanding the rush by the Generals to sacrifice their subjects in the interest of political correctness if, heaven forbid, there is an Iraqi casualty of any kind.
Witness the treatment of Ramos and Campean by our government for their diligence in protecting the Southern U.S. border. That alone rules out the presidency and congressional support, if they will not support their domestic protectors they certainly will not support their foreign protectors.
Witness the treatment of Marines by John Murtha and the accusations of the eight Marines originally accused in the Haditha case, also look at how vigorously prosecutor, Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan tried to nail them after Col. John Ewers helped Gen. James Mattis decide on who would be charged with Gen. James Mattis approving the filing of charges.

I hope I'm wrong, but wasn't it a Democrat who let allies die at the Bay of Pigs, not to mention Ol' Silver Star from the Lone Star who abandoned the troops in battle after committing them? To be fair to the Democrats, was it a Republican who bailed out in Beirut and in Somalia ?

Remember too from 1973 to 1975 stay behind troops faced the same dilemma. April 30, 1975; Corporal McMahon and Lance Corporal Judge were the last two Americans killed in Vietnam. Where are Lance Cpl. Joseph N. Hargove, Pfc. Gary L. Hall and Pvt. Danny G. Marshall?

Who want's to be the last American out of that political shit hole called Iraq with Obama and his ilk providing security?

I remember all too well Tom, how the politicians told us that things would work out in Vietnam. Those lousy duplicitous lying politicians sold out the United States military as well as it's ally. Case-Church then blocked all aid and repatriation.

Posted by: Jack at July 1, 2009 01:29 PM

In 73, the USA made a promise to the South Vietnamese, not to let them swing in the wind. As we all know now that promise wasn't kept. The swung and the communists overran the place. Because of the likes of Ted Kennedy, who was primarily responsible for the aid to be cut off. Thus twice we were sold out. The first time was by Johnson.

I hope and pray these troops have better luck than we did.

Posted by: Mark at July 1, 2009 02:06 PM

I pray the Iraqi people can fight back and that we can leave and Iraq turns into a stable democracy and not an isolmofachist tynany. Then GWB and Dick will be vindicated a correct. That is not the end of the global war of survival against the followers of mohomad, but one small step. There will be no peace either way.

Posted by: Odin at July 1, 2009 02:57 PM

After Operation Desert Storm, we airlifted our guys out of Somalia when the Clintonistas pulled the plug after 'Black Hawk Down'..."
God, I'd hate to be the aircrews on the last C-5's and C-17's out of Iraq! Talk about sitting ducks?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at July 1, 2009 10:28 PM

Tom, it reminds me of Vietnam too and I was
only a citizen and not serving my country.

It has to be a siren going off now in the
minds of all of you Vets how it was then.
You all won the Vietnam War, and the
politicians did all they could to mess
it up.But we the people millions of us
like me, we knew and we will never
forget the truth.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 2, 2009 01:02 AM

Jack, thank you for all of that and you
are so right about it too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 2, 2009 01:04 AM

Mark, I pray so too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 2, 2009 01:05 AM

Odin, I want that to happen so much,oh
so much. It could, they have seen and
felt what it is like to be free that
has got to be a driving force.

I worry about the bad guys coming
in from Iran and messing with
the citizens and killing them to
weaking their resolve.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 2, 2009 01:08 AM

Darth, good to see you.

Your right they will be sitting ducks.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 2, 2009 01:09 AM