First Published: 2005-01-05

US troops to be deployed in Baghdad on polling day

Top US commander says 35,000 US troops will be out supporting election in some way on January 30.


Middle East Online

We're working those plans right now: Chiarelli

WASHINGTON - US troops will be out in force in Baghdad on election day January 30 but ordinary Iraqis must come forward with information to help stave off suicide car bombings and insurgent attacks rocking the city, a top US commander said Wednesday.

Insurgents assassinated the governor of Baghdad on a city street and ran an explosives-laden vehicle into an elite Iraqi commando base Tuesday in a day of attacks that underscored concerns about the viability of the elections.

"I can tell you every single soldier assigned to Task Force Baghdad will be out or supporting the election in some way on election day. And that will be in excess of 35,000," said Major General Peter Chiarelli, who commands US forces in the Baghdad area.

"I promise you we will be out in force in support of the Iraqi government, where they want us to be and in consultation with them. We're working those plans right now," he told reporters via a video teleconference from Iraq.

Chiarelli, who leads the US 1st Cavalry Division, said his forces have had greater success in recent weeks in finding car bombs, or what the military calls vehicle borne explosive devices (VBED), before they explode.

"We have pulled out 50 percent of them in the past week. For every one you've seen go off, I've found another one or broken up a cell that is placing another," he said.

But he said: "Baghdad is city of seven million people, and my ability to pull every VBED at this time is impossible."

He said he was encouraged that calls to a hotline set up for phoning in anonymous tips have gone up and that more Iraqis are approaching troops with information. But they were not doing so in the numbers needed, he acknowledged.

"It's the intimidation factor that is one of the most difficult things we have to fight," he said. "And to break that cycle of intimidation, we're going to need the help of the Iraqi people to stop it."

"In a city like this, somebody sees most acts like this going on. What we're trying to do is to create conditions that will allow Iraqis to assist us, again using their eyes to help us find out before these things take place," he said.


Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike