Map of Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi insurgency. June 14, 2014. By Haghal Jagul [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons The establishment of a caliphate in Iraq is laden with 1,200 years of history. Baghdad, for a glorious five hundred years, was the political capital of Islam and a center for what has been called “the […]
As many as 4 million pilgrims took part in the 2010 Ashoura, including 200,000 foreigners from 24 separate countries, according to Iraqi estimates. The security of Ashoura participants and the areas surrounding holy shrines in Karbala was the sole responsibility of Iraqi security forces, who assumed the security lead for the country as part of Operation New Dawn Sept. 1.
Traditionally, the people of the Tiseen community in Kirkuk visit the shrine and the graves of the deceased of their own community buried in the cemetery surrounding the shrine on religious holidays and other special occasions.
Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the land was confiscated for use as an airport and military base, and visitations and use of the cemetery were forbidden. The U.S. Air Force, who has managed the base since 2003, and the PRT recognized the importance of the site to the Tiseen community and initiated periodic visits for them.
Following in the footsteps of Sirhan Sirhan and the Washington Sniper, another American Muslim goes berserk over American policy in the Middle East.
As U.S. bases and posts in Iraq continue to consolidate or are transferred back to the government of Iraq, military leaders across the country face the challenges of leaving their locations better than when they initially arrived. Whether it’s through the stabilized security we see today in Iraq or the civil affairs projects that have sprouted throughout the country, there are tangible improvements to many of the areas that continue to be or were once occupied by U.S. forces.