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Photo Information

Hit, Al Anbar, Iraq (July 24, 2005)--Col. Mahdi A. Mohamed, a 39-year-old Mosul, Iraq native and commanding officer with Company "1", Iraq Intervention Force talks to a citizen on the tip line. (Official USMC Photo by Corporal Ken Melton)

Photo by Cpl. Ken Melton

3/25 tipline counters insurgency

5 Aug 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment have a new weapon in the war against terrorism and it is simple, effective and voluntary. The tip lines provided by Regimental Combat Team-2 allows citizens here and in surrounding communities to assist in the fight to make their city safe and secure while remaining anonymous and safe from reprisal from insurgents. Since March, a tip line was provided for the Hadithah area, which proved ineffective and unsecure. Two new lines were installed a few weeks ago and are ringing off the hook. “We have been advertising the tip lines through the use of handbills and speaker systems we have in the city,” said Albany, N.Y., native, Maj. Christopher J. Douglas, 39,the commanding officer of Company K. “A few hours after people were notified the tips started to roll in.” The new tip lines are a joint venture with the Iraqi Security Force, which has assigned soldiers to man the phone lines 24 hours a day. The ISF officers hold the responsibility of briefing the Marines on calls they think are important. So far, they have received information that led to the capture of suspected insurgents, weapons caches and explosive devices. “We have been able to plan patrol routes that allowed us to cordon off areas of suspected bombs and perform raids to apprehend suspected insurgents,” said the 1984 Ballston High School and 1989 Marist College graduate. “Almost each of the tips we get from the line turn into positive results.” The lines receive approximately 10 calls a day. The high succession rate from the tips received shows that people in the area are beginning to play an active role in the future of their community. “Some people are happy that we are here and some are still afraid of the insurgents but they are coming around,” said Col. Mahdi Aziz Mohamed, the ISF Company 1 commanding officer. “They are beginning to realize that they play a heavy part in the building of the new Iraq. They are helping make their homes safer by simply calling and telling us where to find certain people and their weapons so we can help them have a better life.”