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Al Anbar governor visits regional sheikhs, promises new projects

HUSAYBAH, Iraq – Restoration of an electric power grid and construction of a hospital for residents of this city of about 50,000 are top priorities for the government of Iraq’s Al Anbar Province, the Province’s governor recently stated.

Governor Maamoon Sami Rasheed al-Awani met with local tribal sheikhs and city government leaders at an outpost in the city, where Marines from the California-based 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment provide security and train Iraqi Security Forces in this.

Awani, a former civil engineer who now governs arguably the most dangerous of Iraq’s 18 provinces, flew in by helicopter and was provided top security by Iraqi Security Forces and Marines during his visit. Awani has been the target of about 30 assassination attempts since he became governor June 1, 2005.

“The security in this region has changed for the better,” said Awani through an interpreter. “Without the work the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police are doing here, we would not be able to move forward with construction projects.”

By Cpl. Antonio Rosas

Combat Correspondent

1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment