Iraqi Unit Brings Calm to Baghdad Rebel Stronghold

(Washington Post) Ann Scott Tyson - The 302nd Battalion, an Iraqi unit that U.S. officers consider one of the most capable in the Iraqi army, formally took charge of the Haifa district of Baghdad early this year. In recent weeks, attacks have fallen off sharply. What the Iraqi soldiers sometimes lack in discipline, they make up for in street savvy, U.S. advisers say. They can more easily spot an out-of-place bomb wire, detect nuances in dress and accent, or sense a subtle change in mood that alerts them to their enemy. Not only do the Iraqis see telltale signs of bombs in the cluttered landscape, but they often audaciously run over, grab the wires, and pull them out, U.S. officers say. Public support for the Iraqis seems to be building, judging by the number of phone calls and handwritten notes from residents that have led them to suspected attackers and large weapons caches.

2005-04-29 00:00:00

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