Monday, April 30, 2012

Blast Walls Being Taken Down In Iraq’s Capital

On April 28, 2012, the Baghdad Operations Command began taking down concrete blast walls throughout Iraq’s capital. The Iraqi security forces have been talking about doing this as far back as 2008, (1) and some were removed in the Fadel district that year. (2) The barriers were originally erected by the United States to section off certain neighborhoods in Baghdad to stop insurgent and militia attacks. By limiting movement, business was also hampered, prices went up in the capital as a result, and the sectarian cleansing of Baghdad, which was caused by the conflict, was solidified. Now with security greatly improved, the government feels safe enough to take down more of the blast walls. That doesn’t mean daily attacks don’t still occur in Baghdad, but there is no more civil war, and violence is more like terrorism, which these barriers can’t stop. Iraqi citizens have often complained about the walls despite their positive affects, so many in the capital will likely welcome this change.

A checkpoint at a break in blast walls in Baghdad's Sadr City, Jun. 2008. (AP)
Blast walls being removed from Shurja market in central Baghdad, Apr. 28, 2012 (Reuters)

1. Lannen, Steve, “Militia in 2nd province ends cooperation with U.S.,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/16/08

2. Alsumaria, “Iraq removes separation wall,” 10/8/08


Hendawi, Hamza, “Baghdad’s walls keep peace but fell like prison,” Associated Press, 6/27/08

Lannen, Steve, “Militia in 2nd province ends cooperation with U.S.,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/16/08

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Security Forces Pull Down Hundreds Of Baghdad Blast Walls,” 4/28/12

Roberts, Dustin, “Some Baghdad blast walls removed,” Stars and Stripes, 4/24/09

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