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Thread: Iraq conducts exercises to secure March elections

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    Iraq conducts exercises to secure March elections

    Thursday, February 18, 2010 GET REAL

    Iraq conducts exercises to secure March elections

    BAGHDAD Iraq has conducted what officials termed a major counter-insurgency exercise to prepare for elections in March 2010. ShareThis


    Officials said the exercise, which ended on Feb. 17, would require about a week for examination and review. But they said Iraqi and U.S. military officers already agreed that intelligence must flow faster to enhance a response to insurgency threats.
    The Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry conducted a nationwide exercise to test the response of the military and security forces to mass-casualty strikes during elections scheduled for March 7. The exercise was organized in cooperation with the U.S. military and sought to integrate a command and control center.

    "The officers should learn to find the information about terrorists before they put their suicide belt on," Iraqi Col. Saeb Ahmed said.

    [On Feb. 18, at least 12 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province. Officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the offices of the provincial government.]

    During the two-day exercise, army and police units participated in a simulation of a mass-casualty suicide strike attempt in Baghdad. The security forces were also tested in a scenario that called for the bombing of bridges in the Iraqi capital.

    The exercise was directed from a command facility at the Taji air force base 20 kilometers north of Baghdad. Officials said the U.S. military drafted the scenarios for Iraqi security planners.

    "There is a need for extremely detailed intelligence," Ahmed said.

    The exercise has been part of expanded security operations in major Iraqi cities, particularly Baghdad. Officials said a range of Al Qaida cells have been targeted, including those responsible for bomb assembly, assassinations and bank robberies.

    "The joint security operations conducted in Baghdad are part of a pre-election security plan to disrupt terrorist networks attempting to derail elections and destabilize Iraq," the U.S. military said on Feb. 18.

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    Re: Iraq conducts exercises to secure March elections

    Thanks IcemanSC

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