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Soldiers, Iraqis Building Berm to Protect Village

American Forces Press Service

TIKRIT, Iraq, Jan. 6, 2006 – In a combined effort to reduce insurgent violence in the village of Siniyah in the northern part of Iraq's Salah Ad Din province, community leaders, Iraqi security forces and coalition soldiers began construction yesterday on a berm around the village.

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Local political, religious and security officials listen as Capt. Christopher Judge from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, outlines the plan to build a security berm around the village of Siniyah, Iraq. Construction of the eight-foot-high berm began Jan. 5. The berm is intended to keep insurgent fighters out of the village, which has suffered from a recent spike in violence. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image)

Following the recent spike in insurgent roadside and car bombs, leaders of this small village near Bayji discussed what measures could be taken to improve the security situation. Local police, city council members, sheiks and religious leaders met with leaders from the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), to discuss the operation.

Siniyah's community leaders have long insisted those responsible for the violence were outsiders, not residents of the village, U.S. military officials said. An overwhelming majority of those at the meeting agreed that a berm would prevent outsiders from using the village as a safe haven.

Once completed, the berm will be about 10 kilometers long and nearly eight feet high. Iraqi police and soldiers will man the access points into the village and the guard towers being built in conjunction with the berm.

Iraqi citizens suffer the most from insurgent violence. Almost 80 percent of those killed and wounded by IEDs are Iraqis, not coaltion soldiers, officials noted.

Provincial leaders expressed their approval of the operation. After a similar operation to deny insurgents access to the city of Samarra in August, officials said, the level of violence sharply dropped off. Work on the berm is expected to continue for several days.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

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