Wednesday, May 05, 2004


To take charge of matters in their country. Good for 'em.
A senior Marine officer in Fallujah said Tuesday that the new Iraqi military force that is taking over from U.S. troops in the city is "meeting expectations" in bringing calm to the city.

An all-Iraqi force began moving into positions from withdrawing Marines last week as part of an agreement to restore order in the city, the site of a nearly monthlong siege that left 10 Marines and several hundred Iraqis dead...

Coleman, speaking at the Marine camp a few miles from the center of Fallujah, said that Marines were monitoring the progress of the force.

"We are measuring the reality on the ground, we assigned them, we monitor them," he said...

Coleman said the newly formed Fallujah Brigade was an initiative of former Iraqi officers.

"They didn't come asking for money or anything else, just a chance to serve their nation," Coleman said. "They had been sitting on the sidelines too long, we hadn't given them the opportunity to come forward before."

"But they heard our message ... They came forward saying they can deliver certain things," he added.

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