US Army General requests more troops for Diyala Province, Iraq

Friday, May 11, 2007

The location of the Diyala Province in Iraq.

The U.S. military commander in charge of northern Iraqi operations today said more troops are needed to stem rising insurgent violence in Diyala province.

"I do not have enough soldiers right now in Diyala province to get that security situation moving," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of the 25th Infantry Division.

Mixon also said that Iraqi government officials are not moving fast enough to provide the "most powerful weapon" against insurgents — a government that works and supplies services for the people.

Mixon commands the area that includes Diyala province, north of Baghdad. It was a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency before the start of the Baghdad security crackdown and has worsened since militants fled there to avoid the increased U.S.-led operations started in the capital in February.

Mixon has about 3,500 troops in Diyala and there are about 10,000 Iraqi soldiers and several thousand Iraqi police, with 3,000 more police approved but not yet hired and trained.