SAMARRA, Iraq (Army News Service, Dec. 19, 2006) - Iraq's predominantly Shiite national police force presented the Red Crescent with three truckloads of clothing for nearly 1,500 displaced Sunni Muslims living in the Samarra area Dec. 12. The Red Crescent's mission is similar to that of the Red Cross.

Meant as a way to promote positive relations between the two factions, the national police were pleased to help, said one Shiite police officer.

"Doing something like this will help these families," said the police officer, who wished to remain anonymous.

Sgt. 1st Class Edward Rodriguez, 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, said this was the first time in the Samarra area that a gesture of this scale had been made.

"They (Iraqi National Police) wanted to do something for the families and we had this extra clothing," Rodriguez said. "So they asked us if they could donate these clothes as a sign of support. We hope this is a positive step toward helping the differences between the Iraqi people."

Rodriguez said he believed the operation would have an impact.

"It made a difference," he said. "The director of the Red Crescent was pleased; not only because she received clothing to help the displaced people, more importantly she was pleased because it was the Shiites showing a sense of unity between the two Muslim factions."