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Topic - Tal Afar
Al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq and has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation's western deserts as the extremist group seizes on regional instability and government security failures to regain strength, officials say
Black flies hummed around stall 58 at Wagner Range. Fort Benning's pine trees shimmered in the distance as the late-morning temperature pushed 95 degrees with the promise of more from the Georgia summer.
My memories of Operation Iraqi Freedom are vivid and laced with contrasts. I remember on March 22, 2003, crossing into Iraq as a young captain with gas mask in hand as Tomahawk missiles screamed above our heads en route to their targets. Since that night, I have witnessed acts of destruction and reconstruction, acts of violence and acts that have improved peace and stability. I have seen evil and have been humbled by genuine human compassion.
Military officials in Baghdad say Iraqi insurgents have had limited success in stepped up attacks since the U.S.-led efforts to stabilize the Iraqi capital.
He said: "Everyone encounters a walk in the desert at some point in his life. ... It is what you do in that time that will define who you are."