"The sand wall is only "an intermediate solution," said Marine Lt. Col. Robert Kosid, whose 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion is responsible for Rutbah and several thousand square miles of desert around it. I think the long-term success of Rutbah involves a permanent presence in the city," said Kosid, who was also based here on his previous tour in Iraq."
"It's a more methodical way to use (checkpoints) to clear towns instead of going right in to sweep it," Sgt. Spencer Biegel of Albany, Ore., said as he helped inspect cars at a checkpoint.
More than a dozen wanted suspects have been caught at Rutbah's checkpoints, he said.
"In the long term it cuts down on Marine and civilian casualties," Biegel said.
About 500 vehicles pass through the busiest checkpoint each day, and Marines cut traffic from two lanes to one whenever there is a roadside bombing."As insurgent activity rises, we have to put on stringent controls," said Capt. Phil Laing of Seligman, Ariz., who commands the Marines manning the checkpoints. "The intent is not to punish Rutbah."
AP Wire | 03/05/2006 | U.S. Marines wall in Iraqi city with sand