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.

 

10 killed in Toronto “deliberate” van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Rouhani warns Trump against betraying nuclear deal

Saudi king to launch 'entertainment city'

Iraq’s ex-football stars from sports to politics

Syria's Idlib 'big new challenge' for international community

UNRWA chief says Palestinian aid $200 million short since Trump cuts

Bad memories resurface at Raqa’s mass grave

Turkey newspaper chief slams journalist terror trial

Setback for Yemen rebels after strike takes out leader

Saudi issues Islamic sukuk sale to finance deficit

Yarmuk, an epicentre of Syria's bloody conflict

Egypt’s Eurobond succeeds but risks remain

Egypt former anti-corruption chief gets five years jail

Philippines apologises to Kuwait over 'maid rescues'

Iran urges EU not to pay Trump ‘ransom’ over nuclear deal

UAE to finance project to rebuild Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque

EU, UN begin major conference for Syria aid

New tensions rise between old rivals Turkey and Greece

Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’