Monday, July 7, 2008

Joint Cheif's Chairman visits Sadr City

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen visited Baghdad's Sadr City district, and praised members of the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team for their efforts in making one of Iraq's most dangerous areas safer in recent months.

“We didn’t know where Sadr City was going to go,” the chairman told the soldiers. “Thanks to you, the area is much better and safer; you’ve really made an impact.”

Mullen said that two months ago the streets of Jamilla Market weren't even safe to walk, but U.S., along with Iraqi patrols, have produced significant improvements in security.

Senior officers of the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team told Mullen that they were gaining confidence in their Iraqi counterparts.

"Iraqi security forces are better equipped and better prepared than they’ve been in many months," said Army Col. John Hort, the brigade’s commander.

Attacks have fallen to the lowest level in four years throughout Iraq, with a 90 percent decrease in the last year, according to military sources.

While there have been security improvements in Sadr City, the area still remains dangerous and Mullen said much work remains.

“I don’t see an end state right now in Sadr City, because it’s got a long way to go,” he said. “It was a place that not too many months ago was a big question for all of us, but continued progress will create a more complete answer down the road. You have to remember that success is a marathon, not a sprint.”

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