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General Predicts Victory Through Iraqi People's Determination

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2005 – The determination of the Iraqi people to resist terrorists and to advance the cause of democracy in their country is what will win the war there, a military official in Baghdad said today.

The Iraqi people have already shown a great will and determination to establish a free country, and progress is made continually, Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, said at a news briefing.

"The people of Iraq are uniting to kick the terrorists and foreign fighters out of their country," he said. "We're seeing more of that every day."

Iraqi citizens routinely supply Iraqi security forces and coalition forces with information about terrorists and their activities, which often leads to successful operations, he said. Also, Iraqi security forces continue training and are increasing in size and effectiveness, he said.

"There is great progress with the Iraqi security forces, not just on numbers," he said. "We are seeing increased capabilities on the part of the Iraqi security forces throughout Iraq on a daily basis. It's amazing progress."

There are now more than 195,000 trained and equipped security forces, and they will be ready to provide security for the constitutional referendum in October, Lynch said. Coalition forces will still be in Iraq to provide support, he added.

"There will be a safe and secure referendum in October," he said.

A surge in violence undoubtedly will occur around the referendum, but Iraqi and coalition forces are prepared to fight the terrorists, Lynch said. Effectiveness of terrorist attacks has not increased, even though the number has, he said, and the violence is isolated to four provinces.

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches, the Iraqi government, in conjunction with coalition forces, is releasing about 1,000 detainees, Lynch said. Already, 500 have been released, and 500 more will be by the end of this week, he said. These detainees were chosen for release by a special release board consisting of Iraqi and coalition officials, he explained.

When the detainees are released, they are given new clothing, a copy of the Koran and $25 to help start their new life, Lynch said. Iraq's deputy prime minister speaks to them and urges them to go back to their families and be productive members of society, he added.

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