By Staff Sgt. Peter Ford, MND-B PAOApril 22, 2009
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Security Forces have taken the lead to ensure the safety of the people in a place known as the "City of Peace."
"Sab al-Bour, once a thriving city with over 60 thousand people composed of Shi'a and Sunni tribes living in harmony saw its population dwindle to less than 10 thousand during [Operation Iraqi Freedom]," said Sgt. Hussan, an Iraqi Army Soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Brigade, 6th IA Division.
"Al-Qaeda came in and disturbed the peace and caused sectarian violence among the people here," said Muhammed, an Iraqi policeman in Sab al-Bour. "Many of the people left the city to escape the violence," he added.
According to Muhammed, some stayed to fight with the Coalition forces to protect their community and to help drive al-Qaeda out.
"Sab al-Bour is very calm and very safe now that al-Qaeda has been driven away," said Hussan. "We now have peace and we want to keep the peace and rebuild our community better than it was," he said.
People are returning to Sab al-Bour because of the good security now, Hussan continued.
"Sab al-Bour used to be one of the main routes used to smuggle weapons into Baghdad and surrounding areas," said Sgt. 1st Class Arnold Berger, a native of Germansville, Pa., and a cavalry scout of B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. "The Iraqi army, with the aid of the CF, pretty much has this area locked down."
There are now more people than ever. "The population in Sab al-Bour is nearly 70 thousand now because of the safety provided by the ISF," said Thamar Hemmund, a Nahiya tribe council member in Sab al-Bour.
"The ISF in Sab al-Bour is continuing to put measures in place to improve the community and keep it safe," said Berger. "Random road blocks are set up to stop weapons from entering the community."
"The ISF have taken the lead in providing safety for its community. We are only here to provide assistance if they need it," said 1st Sgt. David McCaw, a native of Schuykillhaven, Pa., and a cavalry scout in B Troop.
According to McCaw, this group of Iraqi Army Soldiers is very proactive. They don't wait for the CF to tell them what needs to be done.
The people in the community work together with the ISF and CF to keep the peace. Because of teamwork, one of the safest places in Iraq now is the City of Peace.