Monday, September 29, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 29 Sept 2008

From MNF-I, Continued Progress: Security Allows Opening of West Baqubah Road.

BAQUBAH — A ribbon cutting ceremony recently took place in a western Baqubah neighborhood to reopen a road that had been closed to the locals in the area for more than a year.

"This was in the workings since early May," said Capt. Kevin P. Ryan, the officer behind coordinating the opening. "My idea is to transition this area of operations (AO) back to the Iraqi people and to open the roads up, to give something back to the people."

To do that, though, he had to work with Iraqi security forces (ISF) to set up some conditions, which were to set up a series of checkpoints, Ryan said. There were three set up.

"The three of them lead into the west side of the AO," Ryan said. "From here, Iraqi security forces with their Sons of Iraq brothers can search the vehicles and allow the vehicles to come in. Traffic has not been allowed inside the western part of this AO in over a year, so today was a big day giving something back to the people."

Traffic had not been allowed in for so long due to security reasons, Ryan said.

"This was the foothold of al-Qaida in Iraq," Ryan said. "So, they banned all traffic due to clearing operations and never allowed traffic to come back in because the situation didn't allow it."

Read the rest here.