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Ninewa Province viewed as shining star of Iraq
By Maj. Roderick Cunningham, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
Jan 19, 2007 - 1:51:39 PM
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Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander Multi-National Division - North and 25th Infantry Division discusses Ninewa Province's successes and challenges during a meeting with the Ninewa Provincial Governor Duraid Kashmoula Jan. 11 in Mosul, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Roderick Cunningham, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)
Blackanthem Military News, MOSUL, Iraq - The Multi-National Division - North commander and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander met with Ninewa Provincial leadership to discuss the success and challenges of the province Jan 11.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of MND-N, Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4-1 Cavalry, Ninewa Provincial Governor Duraid Kashmoula, and Provincial Director of Police Maj. Gen. Wathuk shared their thoughts of the current situation and future of the three prominent cities and the remainder of Ninewa Province.
Mosul, the largest city discussed during the meeting, with roughly 1.8 million people, is situated in the northern region and is the second largest city in Iraq. Tal Afar has about 80,000 citizens and lies in the western portion of the province; and Qayyarah, which houses roughly 50,000 residents is south of Mosul located in the Tigris River Valley.
The meeting revolved around several topics, however, the recurring themes were violence in the streets, security, and how anti-Iraqi forces are brought to justice when captured.
“Yes, there is violence in this city. But, there is violence in American cities that have nearly two million people in their population as well,” said Mixon.
Recognizing the similar levels of violence in a comparable city in America, Twitty paints an optimistic picture of the current state of Mosul and Ninewa Province.
“Amidst the turmoil and issues that persist in Iraq, there is a semblance of peace and normalcy in the north.  Ninewa’s leadership works hard to provide its citizens security, build its economy, and implement programs that will continue to keep sectarian violence from the province,” said Twitty.  “One thing we cannot do is attempt to put an American standard on any Iraqi city,” said Twitty. “We have to remember that this country lived under a dictator for more than 30 years. The major and significant difference between U.S. cities and Mosul is the use of improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and other military - grade weapons. Anti-Iraqi forces persist in their attacks, but the Iraqi security forces, consisting of the Iraqi Army, border patrol and police, continue to quell those attacks daily,” Twitty continued.
Both Kashmoula and Wathuk agreed that their police and army are trained; they have enough equipment to do their jobs, and are securing their streets, cities, and province.
“This province has more than 18,000 police and 20,000 Iraqi Army soldiers who provide security for its citizens,” said Kashmoula. “Both the 2nd and 3rd Iraqi Army Divisions have demonstrated that they are fully capable of assuming counter-insurgency missions by taking over operations in east and west Ninewa province. They conducted transfer of authority ceremonies, putting them under the control of Iraqi Ground Forces Command instead of Coalition Forces,” he continued.
Mixon said he believes that with so many Iraqi security forces now working to secure their own cities in the province, it shows the diligence of the local government.
“The leaders of this province continue to make progress standing up security forces to maintain domestic order and deny terrorists from using Mosul and the other cities as a safe haven,” said Mixon.
Everyone agreed that by working together, once captured, those terrorists would be prosecuted and brought to justice, despite past problems within the Iraqi judicial system.
Both the governor and police chief said they are working together in an effort to ensure Ninewa’s judicial system and jails work to support the citizens of the province. 
“The lawyers refused to go to court so I picked them up myself and took them to the courthouse.  This act broke the strike of the other lawyers, allowing court to go on as planned,” said Kashmoula.
“We received three convictions; one got 30 years, another 15 years, and the third was released.  Six others were prosecuted and received the death penalty,” he added.
“I applaud the success earned by the government, police, and army of Ninewa Province,” said Twitty.  “They are dedicated to bringing peace to the area and they set the standard for all of Iraq.


Col. Stephen Twitty, commander, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (right), discusses security with Provincial Director of Police Maj. Gen. Wathuk (left) during a meeting Jan.11 in Mosul, Iraq.

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20 Apr 2010, 22:23
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