Wednesday, June 10, 2009

06-10-09 Violence will not derail US Withdrawal schedule from Iraq

Minister Al-Bolani: “Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal Process Will Not Be Affected By Terrorist Operations”
Announces Plans for New Wide-Scale Iraqi Security Operations in Basra; 500,000 Iraqi Police Forces Scheduled to Deploy across the Country

BAGHDAD, IRAQ (June 10, 2009)— Signaling that the half a million Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are ready and eager to assume full control over much of Iraq’s security on June 30th, Iraq’s Minister of Interior Jawad Al-Bolani announced today that it is preparing for new wide-scale security operations in the southern Basra Province.

The security operations, which will launch in the near future, will be led by the Ministry of Interior’s (MoI) ISF, in coordination with Basra’s Security Committee. The plans will comprise just one of several such operations planned throughout Iraq by the MoI in the coming months, as the Ministry’s staff of 500,000 prepares to assume sole control of much of the country's cities, towns and villages.

“The new security initiative in Basra is a testament to the strength and preparation of our security forces, who have been aggressively combating terrorism and corruption in our country for quite some time,” Interior Minister Jawad Al-Bolani said. “We are grateful for the support of our allies, but we are eager for a new chapter in Iraq’s sovereignty to begin. Iraqis are ready to take our nation back. Terrorists will not affect the timeline of U.S. withdrawal and the resumption once again of Iraqis protecting Iraqis.

Following the June 30th withdrawal of U.S. forces, the MoI has assigned the Iraqi Police to take charge of security in most of the country's major population centers, including 70% of Baghdad. The Ministry of Interior will be fully responsible for the security in seven provinces, and the remaining eight will be the joint responsibility of MoI and the Ministry of Defense. The Iraq Army, under the Ministry of Defense, will support the police in the provinces based on Iraq's three main cities of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, in the predominantly Sunni Arab western province of Al-Anbar, in Diyala and Salaheddin provinces north of the capital and in Karbala to its south.

The ISF will also gradually take responsibility for patrolling the country's 3,600 kilometers of borders, where 700 observation posts have been erected.

The Ministry of Interior has recently instituted a training program that has moved Iraq toward the goal of police primacy, where the Iraqi police maintain primary responsibility for security in the cities. As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops, the ISF presence is seen as crucial to the stability within each city.

For media inquiries on the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, please contact:
Phone: +1-212-486-7070

About the Iraqi Ministry of Interior

With 500,000 employees, the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) is the largest employer in Iraq, and coordinates, maintains and commands a growing variety of police and security-related forces, including the Iraqi Police Service, the National Police, the Department of Border Enforcement and the National Information and Investigations Agency. Jawad al-Bolani has served as Iraq's Interior Minister since his appointment in June 2006.