Troop Surge

Northeast

The northeastern belt runs from the Tarmiyah area in the Tigris River Valley, east through Khalis and Baqubah and south to Nahrawan east of Baghdad. It controls the road networks that link Baghdad with the eastern shore of the Tigris River Valley, as well the Diyala River Valley and a key border crossing with Iran. Consequently, both al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Jaysh al-Mahdi, and associated Iranian-backed Special Groups have competed to control the area.

Baghdad Belts

The Baghdad belts are residential, agricultural, and industrial areas that encircle the city, and networks of roadways, rivers, and other lines of communication that lie within a twenty or thirty mile radius of Baghdad and connect the capital to the rest of Iraq. Beginning in the north, the belts include the cities of Taji, clockwise to Tarmiyah, Baqubah, Buhriz, Besmayah and Nahrwan, Salman Pak, Mahmudiyah, Sadr al-Yusufiyah, Fallujah, and Karmah.

Central Iraq

The mid-Euphrates region of Iraq lies south of Baghdad. Its main cities include Karbala, Hillah, Kut (الكوت), Diwaniyah (الديوانية), and Najaf (النجف). The population is predominantly Shi'a in the south and generally a mixture of Sunni and Shi'a to the north of Hillah and northwest of Kut. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) play an important role in this region, particularly the 8th Iraqi Army Division led by the capable General Othman Ali Ferhood.

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