Baghdad Security Clampdown Begins
Checkpoints, Barricades; Codename: "Rule of Law"
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki at the Karbala news conference during which he confirmed the launch of the Baghdad security plan
Karbala, Feb 14, (VOI) – Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Wednesday that the security plan codenamed "Rule of Law" has already started in Baghdad. "It is a clear message to all outlaws in Iraq", the premier said in a speech delivered at the municipality hall of Karbala province. Al-Maliki said that rebuilding Iraq is a difficult mission, "we are resolve to tackle all problems caused by the ousted regime," noting that "these problems would not stop us from fulfilling the mission." "We are talking about rebuilding a country, there is no difference between Sunnis and Shiites", the Shiite premier, who paid a sudden visit to the city of Karbala, 110 km southwest of Baghdad, stated. "All of us have to take part in this process for the good of our country", he underlined. "The law means the state, and those who violate the law are considered enemies of the state," Maliki said. The Iraqi prime minister asserted that "the new security plan is targeting outlaws, both Shiites and Sunnis, we will continue this policy and will not distinguish anyone". Top military commander Lt. Gen. Abbod Gambar had said late Tuesday that the security plan envisages a 72-hour closure of four crossing points with Iran and Syria, in addition to the extension of the night curfew in Baghdad. The General unveiled that "Sheiba" checkpoint will be partially closed and will be reopened after 60 days of closure. A curfew from 8 pm to 6 am will be imposed on Baghdad as part of the plan, he added. The plan will divide Baghdad into 10 security districts: Kadhimiyah city, Al-Mansour, Rasafa ,Sadr City, Adhamiyah neighborhood , Karada, Karkh, New Baghdad, Rashid, in addition to the regions submitted to the divisions 6, 7, in an attempt to drive out gunmen and illegal militias. Weapons permits would be restricted only to the Iraqi and US military. "Worship places will not be touched in respect to their sanctity", the officer highlighted. The new plan will combine the command of the police and armed forces in the hands of the Iraqi general. The US-backed security drive is now being debated in the US Congress.