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first_imgHoffman said the military had seensymptoms like headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and nausea.     According to Pentagon data, around408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since2000.(Reuters) United States (US) President DonaldTrump and other top officials initially said Iran’s attack had not killed orinjured any US service members. United States soldiers inspect the site where an Iranian missile hit an air base in Anbar province, Iraq on Jan. 13. REUTERS/ JOHN DAVISONcenter_img WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Fridaysaid 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, followingmissile strikes by Iran on a base in Iraq earlier this month. Last week the US military said 11 UStroops were treated and transferred out of Iraq for concussion symptoms afterthe attack on the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq and this week saidadditional troops had been moved out of Iraq for potential injuries. last_img read more


first_imgHABBANIYA, Iraq – The U.S. military’s push to organize Sunni Arabs into local Neighborhood Watch-style groups has been one of the United States’ most important initiatives in Iraq – so much so that President George W. Bush flew to Anbar province in September to highlight growing alliances with Sunni tribal leaders. But now that the Americans are trying to institutionalize the arrangement by training the Sunnis to become police officers, the effort has been hampered by halfhearted support and occasionally outright resistance from a Shiite-dominated national government that is still inclined to see the Sunnis as a threat. It was the U.S. military that pressed to open the new Habbaniya Police Training Center where Sunni tribesmen and former insurgents are to be trained to serve as police officers in Anbar. And it was the Americans who provided the uniforms, food, new classrooms and equipment for the police recruits. Scaled back plans AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. While the Iraqi government has agreed to basic police instruction at the academy, it has balked at training more senior officers there. The government has also scaled back plans by Anbar officials to expand the provincial police force by almost 50percent. “The Ministry of Interior deals with the Sunni provinces different than they deal with the other provinces,” said Brig. Gen. David D. Phillips, a U.S. Army officer who oversees the training of the Iraq police. “The only reason the Anbar academy opened is because we built it, paid for it and staffed it.” He said the Interior Ministry “was very hesitant about it.” The ministry says that it pays the salaries of the Iraqi personnel here, and that more money will come as soon as proper administrative procedures are established between the government and the academy. Anbar is not the only source of contention. In Diyala province, north of Baghdad, U.S. military officers have pushed the Iraqi government to hire more than 6,000 local Iraqis, many of them Sunnis, as police. Despite promises of action by Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki, none has been hired by the Interior Ministry. Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, who is winding up a tour as the senior U.S. commander for northern Iraq, said in an interview at his headquarters at Camp Speicher that the “foot-dragging” stems from “highly sectarian” hiring in Baghdad. “They want to make sure that not too many Sunnis are hired,” he said. “The situation is unsatisfactory in terms of hiring Iraqi police.” The growing tensions over efforts to hire more Sunni police officers comes at a critical moment in the U.S. military deployment in Iraq. With the number of U.S. combat brigades set to decline by a quarter by mid-July, U.S. commanders are eager to build up the Iraqis’ capability to secure their neighborhoods. One way has been to organize local Sunnis into neighborhood groups, what the U.S. military calls “Concerned Local Citizens.” The benefits of this have been evident near Yusufiya and Mahmudiya, in an area south of Baghdad that was once so violent it had been known as the “triangle of death” and has been overseen by the 2nd Brigade of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Just the first step Before neighborhood groups were organized in this region in June, more than 12 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were killed each month in the area, according to an analysis circulating within the U.S. military command. After June, the casualties declined to one soldier killed each month. The number of vehicles destroyed from roadside bombs was running at 11 per month before June, but is averaging fewer than one per month now. But organizing local Iraqis into watch groups is just the first step. The Americans’ ultimate goal is to codify the arrangement by training these groups as police. The Americans also hope that by persuading the Iraqi government to hire Sunnis as police they will encourage a new, ground-up form of political accommodation. Shiite-dominated ministries in Baghdad will develop new working relations with largely Sunni police forces in the field, easing the sectarian divide and laying the basis for a more representative national government, or so the theory goes. At its best, the process of hiring new Sunni Arab police is a bureaucratic one. Prospective recruits have their fingerprints taken and undergo retina scans that are included in an intelligence database. The list of potential recruits is submitted to the Interior Ministry, which in turn generally submits them to a committee of national reconciliation overseen by close aides to al-Maliki. With persistent American pressure, the process has led to some new hires. In the town of Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, 1,738 of the 2,400 Sunnis who had been put forward to serve as policemen in the town were hired. Plans have been made to add 12,000 new policemen in Baghdad over the next six months, and it is estimated that about half would be drawn from the ranks of local Concerned Local Citizens. But as Diyala indicates, the process does not always run smoothly. U.S. forces pushed through western Baqouba, the capital of the province, in June in an effort to sweep the city clear of militants from al-Qaida in Iraq, a mainly Iraqi insurgent group with foreign leadership. More than 4,600 Concerned Local Citizens have since been organized in Diyala province. But hiring them as police has proved difficult. Al-Maliki ordered that the Diyala police force be increased by more than 6,000, and provincial officials submitted a list of names in July that included many Sunnis to the Interior Ministry in Baghdad. But some Interior Ministry officials have questioned whether such a large increase is needed, and some members of the reconciliation committee have argued that the original decree by al-Maliki might no longer be valid, putting the plan to hire them as police in limbo. While no action has been taken on the list, the Iraqi government surprised the Americans by hiring 548 Iraqis who were not on the roster. When U.S. officials analyzed the new hires, they determined that the list was predominantly made up of Shiites. It was not the only time that the Interior Ministry hired Shiite police despite the concerns of local officials. The ministry sent 663 Shiite police in recent months to the city of Tal Afar in the northern Nineveh province. Wathiq al-Hamdani, the police chief in Nineveh, said in an interview at his Mosul headquarters that the decision was taken over his objections and would undermine efforts to establish a force that was more balanced on sectarian lines. “We are trying to have some Sunni police officers in Tal Afar, but we have a lot of problems in doing that,” he said. Diyala and Tal Afar are mixed areas where both Sunnis and Shiites live, so they have drawn the attention of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. But even Anbar, an overwhelmingly Sunni Arab region in western Iraq, has been of concern to wary Iraqi officials in Baghdad. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgRescheduled AGM of Gaeil Fhánada Bord na mBan and Bord na nÓg  will now take place this Sunday 06th December in Rosnakill Resource Centre at 6pm. This is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in the running of our ladies and underage activities in the club to come along. All welcome especially Parents!Gaeil Fhánada Lotto Results No jackpot winner.   Lotto numbers drawn 08, 09, 11, 12, 20  Bonus No 15. No jackpot winner. €100 winner Anne & Cathal c/o Marian McFadden, €50 winner Margaret Green, Ballyhernan. Well done everyone!   Next jackpot €2,100.  Wouldn’t that be a nice wee lift for Christmas! Come on support our wee club! If you’re not in you can’t win!Comhghairdeas mór to former club player Seami ‘Nanny’ Friel and Tír Chonaill Gaels  who won the London SFC title – after defeating St Kieran’s earlier this week.  Well done boys.Gaeil Fhánada Club gear is now available in Michael Murphy Sports shop in Letterkenny.  Get your orders in now for Christmas!     GAEIL FHANÁDA SEND THEIR CONGRATULATIONS TO FORMER PLAYER SEAMI ‘NANNY’ FRIEL was last modified: December 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAASportlast_img read more

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