Tuesday, July 13, 2004

:: The IP carried out a huge campaign yesterday to clean up Baghdad from criminals.
I heard in the news that hundreds of suspects were detained in the operation but I didn't believe the number until Al-Sharqiya TV broadcasted pictures for the arrested suspects and the scene was awesome; the detainees looked stunned as the operation was quiet surprising and unexpected as this kind of preventive strikes by IP is totally new.

Many people may think that the number is so big, and I myself had doubts that maybe there were many innocents among the detainees but knowing that the operation was performed in Bab Al-Sheikh and Al-Kifah neighborhoods explained everything.

These two areas have always been recognized by Iraqis as rich habitats for many gangs responsible for drug dealing, car jacking, murders, looting and burgling and I even believe that there are still many more of them to get busted but hopefully when those watch their colleagues being captured they will think twice before they continue with their crimes.

Something that worth mentioning is that when you walk in these areas you can see pro-Saddam slogans covering most of the walls and in my opinion there’s a strong relation between ordinary criminals and the “resistance” as each group serves the other’s interests; as a thief would love to see chaos spread everywhere and would make use of attacks that target the security forces because this would provide a favorable environment for his work. On the other hand, the “resistance” and their allies would like to see more crimes to prove their theory that things were better off in the past and that the change in Iraq has made things only worse. The routes through which drugs are being smuggled are most likely to be the same ones used to smuggle explosives.

This operation was accomplished with almost no casualties among the security forces and in a remarkably short time. The action was highly organized and performed in coordination with the special intelligence department in the IP, as a senior officer stated in an interview for Al-Hurra TV, he also mentioned that satellite images provided by the multinational forces made the job much easier as it helped to specify the exact locations of the suspects and prevented unnecessary casualties among IP members or civilians.

This is the second time in this month where IP (with logistic support from the multinational forces) carry out such a large operation; the first one was in Battaween area which is another stronghold for criminals and more than 150 gangsters were arrested.

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