Not only are the Iraqi military forces improving steadily, but the Iraqis citizens are getting involved. And not only as informers and tipsters:
For example, on Dec. 17, a group of Iraqi citizens near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, captured two suspected terrorists who were observed digging up a weapons cache. The citizens reportedly subdued the suspects and called the Kirkuk Joint Coordination Center, which then relayed the information to a nearby patrol. The combined Iraqi and U.S. patrol responded and secured more than 20 artillery rounds, while detaining the terrorist suspects for questioning, officials said.
This reminds me of a story released on the 9th: Citizens Turn Over ‘Butcher of Ramadi’ to Iraqi, U.S. Troops
The first DefenseLINK story has several more examples of Iraqi citizens helping out, albeit in the more traditional sense. Also noted are several weapons caches and an apparent IED component supply dump including 414 two-way radios discovered and uncovered by US forces.
Sadly, the last item on the report is of a “non-hostile gunshot” fatality in the II Marine Expeditionary Force. That generally, though not always, indicates suicide. Even if things are looking up overall, it’s a tough mission and a tough place to be. Keep our uniformed men and women in mind as you go about your Christmas shopping and celebrating.