Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope August 12th 2007

U.S. commander claims success in key Iraq province

From Reuters:

U.S. forces claimed success on Saturday in establishing their influence and denying al Qaeda fighters control of Iraq's Diyala River valley, one of the main targets of an American offensive over the past several months.

"We influence the entire Diyala River valley," Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Poppas, commander of U.S. forces in the valley north of the town of Baquba, told journalists in a video conference.

"We have forces throughout the Diyala valley in key critical nodes. We cross any line of communications, deny the enemy any freedom of movement. Everything they do is watched," he said.

The Diyala River, which joins th Tigris near Baghdad, is one of the three main fertile areas of northern and western Iraq, alongside the Euphrates and the Tigris itself.

U.S. forces have focused on the religiously mixed Diyala province following a crackdown in Baghdad that preceded a larger push in areas around the capital.

Poppas said al Qaeda fighters had fled into the river valley from Baquba after a U.S. offensive there, and attempted to take control of towns and villages but had failed to do so.


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