FALLUJAH, Iraq --
Iraqi Security Forces and U. S. Marines concluded major activities associated with Operation Alljah, Sept. 6, having curbed the murder and intimidation threat imposed by al Qaeda and improved the security posture in Fallujah.
The operation, which began May 29, was carried out by the Fallujah police; soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division; and Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6, throughout the course of 10 iterations to set conditions for Iraqi police control within the city of Fallujah.
The improved security picture in the city has allowed the Iraqi Army to withdraw, leaving the Iraqi Police in full control of enforcement of the rule of law.
"This operation was tri-partnered in every sense of the word and could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of all involved,” said Lt. Col. William F. Mullen, commanding officer, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “The Iraqi Army has left the city after two years of dedicated service and sacrifice, and it is fitting that they went out supporting Operation Alljah to the very last moment.”
During the operation, barriers were emplaced in the city to form 10 police precincts, reinforcing the IP presence in the city. The barriers also deter vehicular attacks and inhibit freedom of movement by Al Qaeda in Iraq within the city’s boundaries.
Iraqi and Coalition forces recruited approximately 1,700 Fallujah citizens and organized them as a Neighborhood Watch, which reports directly to the district’s police headquarters. Also, with the assistance of the newly recruited watch members, more than 8,300 bags of food were distributed, including rice, flour, sugar, lentil, baby formula and tea.
Operation Alljah provided jobs to the unemployed citizens of each precinct. More than 1,000 people were employed to perform tasks such as trash and rubble removal, city beautification, infrastructure repairs and construction.
“In the words of the chief of police, Col. Faisal, ‘Fallujah has started a new day. The past was painful, but the future will be bright,’” said Mullen.
In all, security forces detained 31 suspected insurgents, discovered two weapons caches and completed 59 property claims.
Operation Alljah will continue with an Iraqi lead throughout the course of the next few months to maintain stability of the city’s overall security. The operation began as part of the counterinsurgency operations triggered by the tribal awakening in the region and involved approximately 2,600 Marines, sailors, soldiers and Iraqi Security Forces.