US military building 3 mile wall separating Sunnis, Shiites in Baghdad

From Stars and Stripes

Soldiers
building wall separating Sunnis, Shiites

Three-mile
structure in Baghdad is a disputed part of security plan

BAGHDAD — U.S. soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division in a Baghdad district
are “building a three-mile protective wall on the dividing line between a Sunni
enclave and the surrounding Shiite neighborhood,” according to a U.S. military
press release issued Wednesday.

Troops with the 407th Brigade Support Battalion began constructing the wall
on April 10 and will continue work “almost nightly until the wall is complete,”
the release read.

“The area the wall will protect is the largest predominately Sunni
neighborhood in East Baghdad. Majority-Shiite neighborhoods surround it on three
sides. Like other religiously divided regions in the city, the area has been
trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation,” according to the
release.

In January, when the new Baghdad security plan and troop “surge” were
announced, the “gated community” concept was reported by several news agencies
as one tactic to be used.

SNIP

According to Wednesday’s news release from Multi-National Corps-Iraq, “the
wall [in Adhamiyah] is one of the centerpieces of a new strategy by coalition
and Iraqi forces to break the cycle of sectarian violence. Planners hope the
creation of the wall will help restore law and order by providing a way to
screen people entering and exiting the neighborhood — allowing residents and
people with legitimate business in, while keeping death squads and militia
groups out.”

A similar effort by U.S. troops in south Baghdad was reported earlier this
month by the Wall Street Journal.

“That community [in Adhamiyah] will be completely gated and protected,” Lt.
Col. Thomas Rogers, 407th Brigade Support Battalion, was quoted as saying in the
release. “It’s really for the security of all the people of Adhamiyah, not just
one side or the other.”

According to military officials, the Adhamiyah wall should be completed in
the next month.

The article includes a denial from t he top spokesman for coalition forces in Iraq that it is policy to build gated communities and that he is unaware of such a wall being built. But he admits temporary barriers are being built to seal off neighborhoods and permanent barriers around city marketplaces are being erected. Make of that what you will. The section of the article dealing with the dispute is after the jump.

 

5 thoughts on “US military building 3 mile wall separating Sunnis, Shiites in Baghdad

  1. I say they bring in the Army Corps of Engineers to build it. That’ll teach ’em.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ll bet at least one wingnut’s tried to promote the idea of not calling it a wall…but instead something like a “freedom fence.”

  3. MapleStreet says:

    Knowing how well the walls worked in Belfast? The wall was such a great idea in Berlin?
    Someone please explain this to me.

  4. mdhatter says:

    Mr. President, Tear Down That Wall

  5. tbone11 says:

    Another step that will divide the nation. Another to late to enforce policy by the US. Another reason for rivals to fight.

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