Anbar province to reopen police stations destroyed by ISIS
By Khalid al-Taie
The Anbar Police Directorate plans to rehabilitate and reopen several police stations this year that have been destroyed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), the Anbar police said Wednesday (January 15th).
The directorate is moving to open at least six police stations in the cities of Ramadi, Fallujah, Heet and al-Qaim, Anbar Police Chief Lt. Gen. Hadi Kassar Erzaij told Diyaruna.
The first station already opened, on January 9th in Fallujah, he said.
The al-Falahat police station, whose building was fully destroyed by terrorists, has been renovated and equipped with surveillance systems and advanced technological devices, he said.
"We started with our plans to rebuild police stations in mid-2016, when we were able to liberate large areas of Anbar from ISIS," he said.
"Over the last two years, we have returned many of those stations to service, including two main stations in the Fallujah city centre, the Euphrates police station in Heet and al-Andalous police station in the town of al-Khalidiya," he said.
This step is aimed at "enhancing the level of police services provided to the citizens, especially in terms of registering their complaints, establishing their rights... and processing compensation cases for those affected by terrorist activity", he added.
Police role in combating terrorism
"Consolidating these rights is one of the basic issues that we took upon ourselves after our cities were liberated and stability returned," Erzaij said.
"We set out to open all [police] stations and bring many of their security elements back to their previous duties, after they were thrown into combat during the liberation battles," he said.
Police stations play a crucial role in combating terrorist activities, he said, noting that their return to service is "an essential part of our unremitting efforts to strike terrorism, take down its sleeper cells, establish security and the rule of law, and also tackle organised crime".
Plans for this year also include the opening of more anti-crime offices, as well as Interpol police offices at border crossings, he said, noting that the first Interpol office was inaugurated in Anbar last September at the Trebil crossing with Jordan.
The Anbar police also has worked to expand the main training centre in the province, which is today a regional centre for the training of police personnel throughout the country.
The directorate, through the tactical regiment, will continue to support the military units of the al-Jazeera and Anbar Operations Commands in their operations to track down and eliminate terrorist remnants in the western Anbar desert, Erzaij stressed.
"We have achieved important successes thanks to this security co-ordination, as well as the population's collaboration with us," he said.