By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Nov 7, 2007 16:04:13 EST
Marines have seen a 75 percent plunge in “enemy incidents” since the beginning of the year, Regimental Combat Team 2 commander Col. Stacy Clardy said Monday.
RCT-2’s area of operations in western Iraq, which encompasses 30,000 square miles of Anbar province, was once considered some of the toughest ground in the battle-torn country. But since January, Marines have tracked the return of urban activities, such as open markets, banks and municipal governments, the commander told reporters via teleconference from Iraq.
The development is “a significant crippling of the al-Qaida in Iraq and the Sunni insurgent capability, and a real opportunity for progress,” said Clardy, who credits the presence of more than 4,000 Iraqi soldiers in the area of operations.
“The [Iraqi] army brigades have grown 200 percent in the last seven months with the support of the sheiks and are now responsible for their own security areas and missions across the province, but particularly around the urban areas,” he said.
The Iraqi police force has grown 40 percent, to 5,200 officers, he said.
Some very good news! My son is serving with RCT2 and says he wishes they were having a little more excitement. Boring and quiet sound great if you ask me!