By Megan Greenwell, Washington Post | July 18, 2007
Major General Benjamin Mixon, the top US military commander in northern Iraq, said during a news conference last week that the situation in Diyala had improved. "Now that the surge has reached its full strength, we are seeing definitive progress" in Diyala, he said, referring to President Bush's decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq this year.
US troops stormed into an insurgent-controlled area of the province in search of the gunmen [who massacred villagers]. Backed by tanks, helicopters, and at least one F-16 jet, soldiers rolled into the eastern part of Baqubah , the capital of Diyala Province. Gunfire could be heard in the main market district, and Sunni imams in four mosques used loudspeakers to call on their followers to fight the Americans, residents told the Associated Press by telephone.
Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said he was particularly pleased with the security situation in Baghdad and al-Anbar Province, the vast region to the west of the capital. . . .Pace said his largely favorable impression of security in the region would influence what he tells President Bush about the results of the troop increase.
Boston Globe, July 18, 2007, p. A-13:
State Dept. says US ready for new talks with Iran on Iraq
Deteriorating security at issue
By Matthew Lee, Associated Press | July 18, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The United States is ready to hold new direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the State Department said yesterday.