MNF - Iraq:
An Iraqi man saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.
The incident occurred while Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were talking with members of the al-Arafia Concerned Citizens, a volunteer community group, at a member’s house.
“I was about 12 feet away when the bomber came around the corner,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Kane, of Los Altos, Calif., acting platoon sergeant of Troop B, 3-1 Cav. “I was about to engage when he jumped in front of us and intercepted the bomber as he ran toward us. As he pushed him away, the bomb went off.”
The citizen’s actions saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians.
Kane knew the man personally, and had worked with him several times before.
Kane felt the loss personally because he had met and interacted with his rescuer many times before the incident.
“He was high-spirited and really believed what the group (Concerned Citizens) was doing,” Kane said. “I have no doubt the bomber was trying to kill American Soldiers. It was very calculated the way the bomber tried to do it. If he hadn’t intercepted him, there is no telling how bad it could have been.”
Kane believes the citizen is a hero.
“He could have run behind us or away from us, but he made the decision to sacrifice himself to protect everyone. Having talked with his father, I was told that even if he would have known the outcome before hand, he wouldn’t have acted differently.”
The terrorist cell responsible was found that night, and Iraqi police launched a successful raid in which four were taken into custody.
Every report dealing with Iraq is saying that the Iraqi citizens are indeed stepping it up to help the coalition. There has been a steady increase in Iraqi assistance in helping the coalition find terrorists, and their weapons, for nearly two years now.
As the U.S. troop surge has taken effect in areas of Iraq, Iraqi citizens are shifting away from extremist groups and stepping forward to assist coalition and Iraqi security forces and secure their communities, a U.S. commander in Iraq said today.
The increase in troops allows the coalition to move into areas that previously had no coalition or Iraqi security force presence and get rid of extremist elements, Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Multinational Division Center, told reporters at the Pentagon via videoconference. As soon as locals see that the security forces are committed to staying and securing a neighborhood, they readily step forward to help, Lynch said.
“Over the last four months, we’ve seen an interesting shift,” he said. “Iraqi citizens are coming to us and providing information. These citizens are speaking up about what they’ve seen; they’re talking about what they’ve heard and about any activity that jeopardizes the rebuilding of their country.”
Lynch also talked about the “concerned citizens” program, which involves about 10,000 Iraqis assisting security forces by manning checkpoints and providing intelligence information. The dedication of these citizens allows local governments to work on reconciliation, which will give the central government in Baghdad a strong foundation to work from for national reconciliation, he said.
With the help of Iraqi citizens, coalition forces are taking down cell after cell.
American Forces Press Service:
Coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained 12 suspected terrorists today during operations in central and northern Iraq.
During an operation targeting an al Qaeda cell, coalition forces returned to an area east of Tarmiyah where they killed 13 terrorists and captured 12 suspects last week. Local Iraqis who had helped coalition forces target the cell last week continued to provide information about terrorist operations there.
The assault force killed two armed men who attacked with small-arms fire. As the force continued to secure the buildings, they repeatedly encountered armed men attempting to barricade themselves in individual rooms. In all five cases, coalition forces fought and killed the men. Coalition forces also detained four suspected terrorists and assessed that nine individuals identified in intelligence reports had been killed or captured.
"With the help of the Iraqi community, we basically crippled this cell," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We'll continue working with local citizens to dismantle the rest of the networks that threaten the security of Iraq."
This trend by the Iraqi people is often ignored. Harry Reid ignored this information when he lied about the surge back in June.
Pundits also continue to ignore the Iraqi contribution as they call for the US to leave because the Iraqis aren't stepping up. Well, they are stepping up ... more and more every day, week, month, and year. Do not belittle their efforts.