Jurf al-Nasr

Jurf al-Nasr (Arabic: جرف النصر) is a small town in Iraq, located about 60 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. It is near Musayyib and approximately 80 kilometers east of Fallujah. The town was formerly known as Jurf al-Sakhar (Arabic: جرف الصخر). At the start of 2014, Jurf al-Sakhar had about 89,000 residents, mostly Sunni Muslims from the al-Janabi tribe. The former residents are now largely refugees in Fallujah, Yusofiyya, Al Musayyib, and the current population is about 15,000.[1]

Jurf al-Nasr
Arabic: جرف النصر
Jurf al-Sakhar (Arabic: جرف الصخر)
Apache Company 1/501 PIR patrolling Jurf
Apache Company patrolling Jurf
Jurf al-Nasr is located in Iraq
Jurf al-Nasr
Jurf al-Nasr
Coordinates: 32°52′00″N 44°12′50″E / 32.86667°N 44.21389°E / 32.86667; 44.21389Coordinates: 32°52′00″N 44°12′50″E / 32.86667°N 44.21389°E / 32.86667; 44.21389
CountryIraq
GovernorateBabil
Population
 (2015)
 • Total15,000

HistoryEdit

In the 1990s, Jurf al-Sakhar housed a large military complex, including the Al Hakum facility, at one time Iraq's most sophisticated and largest biological weapons production factory.

During the Iraq War troop surge of 2007, Jurf al-Sakhar was one of the first towns under the "concerned citizens" program, in which the local populace was paid to secure the town via checkpoints along its roads, funded by money supplied by the U.S. military. The influx of money led to an almost instantaneous decrease in violence in the area. It was also the location of some of the most bitter fighting during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nine medals for valor were awarded to the paratroopers of Apache Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (Geronimo), for their actions in and around the town. The unit was also awarded the Valorous Unit Award, the second highest unit award in the U.S. Army.

ISIS control and liberationEdit

In 2014, Jurf al-Nasr was captured by ISIS.[1]

On 24 October 2014, Operation Ashura[2] was launched in the area by Iraqi government forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces, and volunteers aided by coalition airstrikes, liberating much of the city.[3][4][5] Recapture of the town was additionally motived by the need to secure it prior to the Ashura religious observance, and the close proximity of a Shia shrine at Karbala.[6]

On October 29, 2014, the Babil Government decided to lock out all of Jurf al-Sakhar to its former inhabitants for eight months, so as to remove many improvised explosive devices and clear the houses of bombs that had been placed by ISIS.[7] A member of the Babil Government Council declared that the old project for building a refinery in the area—Jurf Refinery, abandoned after the 2003 war—was to be reactivated, along with other projects aiming to renovate several building and streets.[7]

The Babylon Provincial Council announced that the name of Jurf al-Sakhar, meaning "rocky bank", was changed to Jurf al-Nasr, meaning "victory bank", after the triumph over ISIS in the area. Many of the Iraqi forces who had taken part in the recapture from ISIS were also participants in Shia Muslim rituals to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a few days later.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Loveday Morris (30 October 2014). "Iraq: Army's triumph at Jurf Al-Sakhar lays bare the cost of defeating militants". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Operation Ashura flushing out ISIS militants". Archived from the original on 2014-10-25. Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  3. ^ Mamoun, Abdelhak (25 October 2014). "URGENT: Iraqi Army forces take control over Jurf Al-Sakhar and Alroieih, Babylon". Iraqi News. Babylon Iraq. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Iraqi Forces, Kurds Retake IS-Besieged Town". www.voanews.com. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Jurf al-Sakhar librated from ISIL, says Babel Governor". Archived from the original on 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  6. ^ Morris, Loveday; Salim, Mustafa (25 October 2014). "Iraqi forces press to secure Shiite south before religious observances believed to be target of Islamic State". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Babylon government decides to close Jurf al-Sakhar". awaniq.com. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Iraqi soldiers set up first Husseini procession in Jurf al-Sakhar". ShiaWaves.com. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2021.