U.S. denies plan for giant trench around Baghdad

U.S. denies plan for giant trench around Baghdad
September 16th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. denies plan for giant trench around Baghdad

U.S. denies plan for giant trench around Baghdad
Media: Reuters
Byline: n/a
Date: 16 September 2006

The U.S. military denied reports on Saturday that Iraq plans to dig a giant
ring of trenches around the city of Baghdad.

Iraq's Interior Ministry announced earlier this week that it plans to set up
28 checkpoints that would allow controlled access to the city, while closing
off other roads as part of a security crackdown.

The New York Times quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman on Saturday as
saying the Iraqis would also dig a giant trench around the city of seven
million people.

"We're going to build a trench around Baghdad so we can control the exits
and entrances so people will be searched properly," Brigadier General Abdul
Karim Khalaf told the newspaper. He said the trench would run across
farmland and other open areas.

But Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson said the description sounded like an
exaggeration of a plan that mostly would rely on existing terrain features
to ensure that traffic moved through the 28 checkpoints.

"No doubt there will be some trenches involved in this, but to say there is
going to be a moat around the city is a bit of a stretch," Johnson said.

"They've called it a trench around Baghdad. Really what this is, is there's
a series of obstacles that the Iraqi government are planning, and we're
working with them, to ensure movement through checkpoints, to keep
terrorists and extremists and criminals from using those (other) routes,"
Johnson said.

"So it's not a trench. It will be a series using the natural terrain that
already exists such as canals, and some obstacles."

Baghdad is 60 miles in circumference and surrounded mostly by farmland. But
the land is already crisscrossed by irrigation canals and mostly impassible
for cars driving off roads.

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