U.S. Good, Al Qaeda Bad

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Here's a news item you won't find in the Mainstream media: American forces' stunning progress in Iraq is continuing, and the momentum can be seen in that the Iraqis themselves are responsible for the tips that lead to these successes.

This cooperation is one of the most hopeful things in the situation today. It's also important to note that we're not just raiding villages and locking up bad guys - we're following up with humanitarian aid.

The bottom line: When Americans show up, good things happen. When AQ shows up, bad things happen. Pay special attention to the parts I've highlighted in the story from the Public Affairs Office at Camp Victory, Iraq:

TIKRIT, Iraq - Coalition Forces detained 10 suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operatives during a raid in an Al Ali village, in the northern Diyala River Valley area, known as the bread basket, Jan. 17.

The successful raid was part of Operation Raider Harvest, which is part of Operation Phantom Phoenix - a countrywide operation to eliminate AQI and other extremists in Iraq.

Working off tips from local Iraqis, Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment detained the suspects at seven different locations in the village.

One of the detainees is a suspected AQI company commander, four are suspected AQI fighters, two are suspected improvised-explosive-device emplacers and three are suspected AQI informants.

"With the detainment of this cell, the residents within this area will be more inclined to help Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces in identifying remained AQI," said Capt. Samuel Davis, 3/2 SCR Intelligence officer. "With the detention of the majority of the members of this cell, insurgent activities within the area will be severely decreased, and increase the likelihood of being able to establish a Concerned Local Citizen group or neighborhood security."

Since Jan. 8, with the start of the clearing phase of Raider Harvest, CF and ISF have detained 70 suspected AQI in the AO, killed four and wounded four more. In addition, 25 IEDs have been found and cleared, along with eight vehicle-borne IEDs, six house-borne IEDs and 30 weapon caches.

At the same time as the ongoing mission of clearing AQI from the bread basket, U.S. troops, Iraqi Security Forces and Concerned Local Citizens are also conducting humanitarian aid drops, providing medical aid, delivering fuel, establishing security checkpoints and building Joint Combat outposts. Operation Raider Harvest is not only designed to clear AQI from the bread basket , a former AQI stronghold and safe haven, but also ensure that they are unable to return.

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