Ba'qubah [Baqubah] is a town in east-central Iraq located on the Diyala River, 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. On a road and a rail line between Baghdad and Iran, it is a regional trade centre for agricultural produce and livestock. The name comes from the Aramaic Baya 'quba, meaning "Jacob's house." The town is located on the site of a settlement dating back to pre-Islamic times. Under the 'Abbasid caliphate, it was a prosperous town known for its date and fruit orchards, and the surrounding country was populous and fertile with many villages. It was an important stop on the Baghdad-Khorasan road, part of the silk and spice route. Many Assyrian Christian refugees fled there during World War I.
The cease-fire with Iran, initiated in August 1988, held, although a number of border incidents occurred. The most serious was the Iranian flooding of a sixty-four-kilometer frontier area northeast of Basra. Informed observers considered the flooding designed to put pressure on Iraq to return a strip of approximately 1,000 square kilometers of Iranian territory on the steppe beyond Baqubah. On 27 October 1988, Iran stopped flooding the area, probably as a prelude to a new United Nations (UN) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mediation effort.
A "military rebellion" reportedly took place during July 1999 in the 5th Brigade at its headquarters in Ba'qubah, Diyala Province. Sources said that the rebellion began when Saddam Husseyn's youngest son, Qusayy, went to the headquarters to arrest and interrogate officers of the brigade with alleged links with Islamist organizations. The clash began early on 23 July 1999 when Special Security groups and units of the brigade exchanged fire following the arrest of Lieutenant Colonel Ma'zal Khalil Al-Taha. During the confrontation a number were killed and wounded on both sides. Most of the brigade's officers were ultimately arrested in the investigation of a secret Islamist organization that was said to be active among them and headed by Lieutenant Colonel Al-Taha.
Iraqi Armed Forces Recruiting Station
In January 2004 it was announced that work would start soon on a $28.3 million project to renovate the Tadji Military Base and Iraqi Armed Forces recruiting stations. The recruiting stations are at Al Hillah, Kirkuk and Baqcuba. The project is funded through the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The PMO manages the $18.4 billion appropriated by the U.S. Congress to support the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure. The project is important to the Iraqi security necessary to continue with the major task of rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. A key benefit of completing this project is to give the Iraqi Armed Forces the facilities they need for the defense of their country. Helping Iraqis gain jobs and build industries will have a direct impact on their safety and security. The work was completed by early June 2004. The prime contractor, Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group of Pasadena, California, U.S.A. involved Iraqi contractors, suppliers and labor.
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