The U.S. has increased the number of its troops working with Iraqi forces to establish security. The goal is to create conditions for political and economic progress in Iraq. White House spokesman Tony Snow says there are "tangible changes" occurring in places like Anbar province, Diyala, and parts of Baghdad:
"There have been very successful operations against bad guys, and you've had pretty significant seizures, whether it be in weapons caches, or insurgents, or in killers that they've gotten."
In the Sadr city section of Baghdad, coalition forces recently detained sixteen suspected members of a terrorist network. The network is known for helping to transport weapons from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training. U.S. Major General Rick Lynch said that in a raid in Mahmudiyah in April, U.S. and Iraqi forces found three weapons caches containing mortar systems, rockets and ammunition:
"Recent date stamps and Iranian markings appeared on the ammunition. There is plenty of evidence of Iranian influence in our area, and candidly, this is just simply counterproductive. The discovery of these caches, the interdiction of their trafficking, and the capture of the men responsible for their distribution are our main focus."
Major General Lynch says that "we do not expect to eliminate violence, but we can certainly help the Iraqis mend the fabric of their society." He says the resilience of the Iraqi people along with the determination of coalition troops and Iraqi security forces have created hope for a better future in Iraq.