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Helping to Make Iraq More Safe and Secure

Coalition Forces Helping to Make Iraq More Safe and Secure

Coalition forces are helping to develop "a safer and more secure environment" in Iraq, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a report on recent activity May 18.

As a result of coalition efforts, several non-governmental organizations that were previously working only in northern Iraq have been able to start operations in Mosul, according to CENTCOM.

Other developments in the country include the following:

-- The Office of Rehabilitation and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) began $20 payments to civil service workers in Mosul. The 101st Airborne Assault Division has secured 11 payment sites and one bank in order to ensure unfettered payments for Mosul's civil work force.

-- In Karbala, Seventh Marine Regiment personnel facilitated the delivery of fuel, and its sale at cost to the local distributor, which effectively eliminated the gasoline black market. Marine Corps Civil Affairs personnel also completed assessments on all three Karbala hospitals, and are coordinating with non-governmental organizations on procuring immediate and long-term oxygen supplies, medications, and surgical supplies.

-- Fifth Marine Regiment Marines and sailors completed a two-day training program for police recruits in Al Rumaythah and met with the non-governmental organization GOAL to coordinate distribution of medical supplies throughout the Al Muthanna governate. They also are working on a 10-day repairs and improvement project for the Al Amaid primary school.

-- Overnight electrical power was restored in the city of An Nasiriyah. Marines of the 25th Marine Regiment are working with the non-governmental organization International Medical Community (IMC) on the distribution of 26 tons of food donated by the Romanian government now stored in An Nasiriyah.

Following is the text of the CENTCOM news release:

NEWS RELEASE HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND MacDill Air Force Base, Florida May 18, 2003

COALITION FORCES AID IRAQ'S RECOVERY

CAMP DOHA, Kuwait -- Coalition forces continue to assist in developing a safer and more secure environment in Iraq.

Among recent developments:

BAGHDAD

The Humanitarian Operations Center-Iraq, or "Iraqi Forum," held its first open meeting for the Non-Governmental Organizations community at the Convention Center in Baghdad. About 120 people attended this first meeting.

The secure environment created by Coalition forces has enabled several non-governmental organizations who were previously working only in northern Iraq to start operations in Mosul. The UN has announced that Mosul will be the "UN Centre Team" headquarters.

SOUTHERN IRAQ

The 2nd Marine Division obtained 8,000 blackboards, 120 school desks and building materials from a former regime warehouse to support schools throughout their zone of operations.

MOSUL

101st Airborne Assault Division BG Freakley attended an oil meeting with civilian leaders in Mosul yesterday to discuss methods to improve food distribution and oil supplies.

The Office of Rehabilitation and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) began $20 payments today to civil service workers. Civil workers from the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Finance, and Higher Education received payments totaling $410,860.00

101st Airborne Assault Division secured 11 payment sites and one bank today in order to ensure the unfettered payment of Mosul's civil work force. All 40 gas stations in Mosul will open tomorrow.

AL HILLAH

4th Marine Regiment Civil Affairs officials coordinated the ORHA stipend payment to the city's civil workers.

KARBALA

Third Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment personnel met with Governance Support Team, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and the local tribal, political, and religious leaders yesterday. They discussed critical security issues that will facilitate the decommissioning of the Karbala Protection Force, the professionalism of the Karbala Police Department (KPD), and the future stability of the region.

Seventh Marine Regiment personnel facilitated the delivery of fuel, and its sale at cost to the local distributor. This effectively eliminated the gasoline black market.

Marine Corps Civil Affairs personnel completed assessments on all three Karbala hospitals, and is coordinating with non-governmental organizations for assistance with procuring immediate and long-term oxygen supplies, medications, and medical surgical supplies. They also met with the World Food Program to coordinate the distribution of foodstuffs.

AS SAMAWAH

Fifth Marine Regiment Marines and sailors completed a two-day training program for police trainees in Ar Rumaythah and met with the non-governmental organization GOAL to coordinate distribution of medical supplies throughout the Al Muthanna governate. They also are working on a 10-day repairs and improvement project for the Al Amaid primary school.

AD DIWANIYAH

Civil Affairs personnel with the 5th Marine Regiment coordinated the payment of the ORHA stipend to civil workers in Afak. The city received four benzene gasoline tankers from Basra with nine more expected to arrive in the near future.

AN NAJAF

Seventh Marine Regiment Marines are facilitating an effort to provide election guidance to assist local officials and recently met with all political leaders and representatives who will potentially submit nominations for the mayoral election. They received 31 diesel tankers which will help avert a possible fuel shortage at the electric power plant. They also transferred a sum of three billion dinars to replenish the city banks and facilitated the arrival of a Kuwaiti food convoy and delivered 12 truckloads of food and medical supplies.

AL KUT

The 23rd Marine Regiment began coordination to develop customs inspectors and border patrols in vicinity of the Iraq/Iran border. They received 8 liquid petroleum gas tankers to help keep up with local weekly requirements and are working with authorities in Baghdad and An Nasiriyah to provide adequate, reliable electrical power through the repair of three of the four main power lines.

AN NASARIYAH

Overnight electrical power has been restored in the city. Marines of the 25th Marine Regiment are working with the non-governmental organization International Medical Community (IMC) on the distribution of 26 tons of food donated by the Romanian government now stored in An Nasiriyah.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


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