Operation Together Forward I
On June 13, 2006, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the launch of Operation Together Forward I (OTF I), the newly-formed government’s plan to secure Baghdad. OTF I was launched in response to growing sectarian violence in the capital city; and according to Prime Minister Maliki, the objectives of the operation were to provide humanitarian aid and to increase security throughout Baghdad. OTF I officially began on July 9, 2006.
In order to prevent the further escalation of sectarian violence and to improve Baghdad’s grim security conditions, OTF I involved the implementation of emergency anti-terrorism and weapons control laws, as well as combined security operations. Security measures included an increased number of checkpoints and patrols, a 9pm to 6am city-wide curfew, and targeted raids against terrorist elements in the city.
OTF I was an Iraqi-led operation. According to Prime Minister Maliki, the Iraqi National Police, under the direction of the Ministry of Interior, were charged with leading the security initiative; Iraqi Army and Coalition forces functioned in support roles. In all, 48 battalions were committed to OTF. This included 13 Iraqi Army battalions, 25 Iraqi National Police Battalions, and 10 Coalition Forces battalions. Altogether, nearly 50,000 Iraqi and Coalition troops were involved in the operation—21,000 Iraqi Police, 13,000 Iraqi National Police, 8,500 Iraqi Army Soldiers, and roughly 7,200 Coalition Forces.
By August 6, 2006, when OTF I concluded, 411 individuals associated with death squads had been either killed or captured; 32,382 combat patrols had been conducted; and over 43 weapons caches had been seized.
On August 7, 2007, Coalition and Iraqi Forces continued transitioned to Operation Together Forward II.