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U.S. Forces Transition To Reconstruction In Hussein's Hometown

Saddam Hussein in Tikrit in 1988
Saddam Hussein in Tikrit in 1988
TIKRIT, Iraq (RFE/RL) -- U.S. forces have intensified reconstruction work in Tikrit -- the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein -- since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities on June 30, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Salahudin Governor Muttashar Hussein Ilaiwi said on July 24 after visiting an Iraq-U.S. coordination center that more than 30 projects have been implemented with U.S. funding, including construction of schools, medical clinics, nurseries, government offices, water facilities, power plants, and rehabilitation of Iraq's main oil refinery in Baiji.

Ilaiwi added that discussions were held on July 24 with the Americans on new projects to be implemented. Colonel Aed Yusuf, the director of the coordination center, said that even before their withdrawal from cities U.S. forces were involved in reconstruction. He added that the center is in contact with local authorities and reports their needs for infrastructure and utility projects like sewage and water treatment.

Colonel Walter Piatt of the U.S. military's Multinational Division-North said the coalition forces are now completely focused on reconstruction and support for Iraqi forces.