Security

Iraqi forces execute plan to clear Heet of ISIS remnants

By Khalid al-Taie

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Iraqi security forces greet local residents during the Police Day parade in Heet on January 9th. [Photo from the Heet governor’s office Facebook page]

Iraqi security forces have been carrying out a security plan to crack down on any remaining "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) elements in the Anbar province city of Heet, the local administration announced Thursday (January 25th).

Forces from the army’s 7th Division, the al-Jazeera Operations Command, the Heet Police’s 8th Rapid Response Regiment, and tribesmen are taking part in the campaign.

The campaign includes several security measures, including "stepping up patrols and search operations, tracking down terrorists' hideouts and sleeper cells, and attacking them in pre-emptive operations", said Heet governor Muhannad al-Obeidi.

Iraqi forces also have beefed up intelligence sources through working with local residents, he told Diyaruna.

The campaign involves "taking into consideration all available security information, whether true or not, and handling it very carefully in order to deny terrorists any opportunity to tamper with the city’s security and threaten the life of the population", he said.

The security situation in Heet is now very stable, he said, adding that "citizens are supporting all security efforts and showing greater determination to co-operate with the police and army".

Public services restored

Al-Obeidi said that Heet's local administration is doing everything in its power to restore services and repair infrastructure destroyed by ISIS.

The Heet reconstruction campaign was launched immediately after the city was liberated from ISIS in April 2016, he said.

"The damage to the city was big, but in co-operation with the UN Development Programme [UNDP], the Iraqi Construction Fund, and relevant ministries, we have succeeded in overcoming many obstacles and made positive achievements," he said.

Electricity and water services are operational in all Heet neighbourhoods, he said, noting the rehabilitation of the city's general hospital and primary health care centres and the reconstruction of most destroyed schools.

Efforts have also kicked off to rebuild Heet’s main bridge, which was almost totally destroyed, he said.

"The public company Ashur [a construction company affiliated with the Ministry of Construction] is in charge of rehabilitating it under six months," he said.

Many roads are being re-paved and rehabilitated, he added, including the highway between Heet and Ramadi.

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