Future Third ID Commander Briefs Media in Baghdad - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/23/06

Future Third ID Commander Briefs Media in Baghdad

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch

A major win against terrorism today as US forces rescued three hostages. One of the men behind the rescue is the next commander of Fort Stewart's Third Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said coalition forces learned the hostages' location from a detainee they captured the night before. Our Mike Manhatton is on special assignment in Iraq and has exclusive coverage of the general's announcement.

Today, Gen. Lynch briefed the media in Baghdad on the biggest events of the day and week, some new operations against insurgents, the early-morning hostage rescue, and the big picture.

"There is not widespread violence across Iraq," he said. "There is not. Seventy-five percent of the attacks take place in Baghdad, Al Anbar or Saladin.

"The concern that all of Iraq is experiencing widespread violence is incorrect."

There are challenges, big challenges, but many success stories.

"We are dealing with a vicious enemy," the general said. "He wanted to stop the democratic process, he couldn't stop the two elections in 2005, he couldn't stop the drafting and ratification of the constitution last October, so now he's focused on inflaming sectarian violence. To drive a wedge between the components of the Iraqi community. The Shia, the Sunnis and the Kurd."

As busy as he is, I had a chance to meet and talk to General Lynch this afternoon. He's looking forward to coming to Fort Stewart, and taking command of the Third Infantry Division, but for now, he's focused on his remaining time here in Iraq. 

Reported by: Mike Manhatton, mmanhatton@wtoc.com

Tonight Mike's flying to a remote area between Baghdad and the Syrian border to meet with 48th Brigade Georgia National Guard and Beaufort Marine fighter squadrons.

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