Iraq to deploy 40,000 troops in Baghdad
Gulf News | May 27, 2005
Baghdad: More than 40,000 Iraqi troops will be deployed in Baghdad to hunt down insurgents, Iraq's defence minister said on Thursday.
Sadoun Al Dulaimi said the Iraqi force would include troops from the interior and defence ministries in the first phase of a massive security crackdown.
"We will divide Baghdad into seven main areas, and the number of the forces who will take part in the operation from the interior and the defence ministry will be more than 40,000 security men," he said.
It would be the largest anti-insurgent operation carried out in Baghdad by Iraqi security forces, said Dulaimi, who unveiled the plan at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Bayan Jabor.
He added it would be the first phase of a security crackdown that could eventually cover the whole country.
"You will witness unprecedented strict security measures," he said.
"We will also impose a concrete blockade around Baghdad, like a bracelet around an arm, God willing, and God be with us in our crackdown on the terrorists' infrastructure. No one will be able to penetrate this blockade."
Jabor, on the other hand, said the operation was designed to change the government's stance when it came to the two-year-old insurgency.
"These operations will aim at turning the government's role from defensive to offensive," he said.