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Amarah [Amara] is the administrative center of Maysan [Misan] Governate [and should not be confused with the Al 'Amarah Marsh].

The country that is today Iraq consisted in 1914 of the three Turkish Vilayets of Basrah, Baghdad and Mosul. The British conquest of that territory began one day after the outbreak of war between Great Britain and Turkey on 5th November 1914. The occupation of southern Iraq (the Basrah vilayet) was completed with the capture of Amarah and Nasiriyah in the summer of 1915.

Despite long-standing government interest in developing the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers into major arteries for inland transport, little had been accomplished by the late 1980s, primarily because of the massive scale of such a project. Dredging and the establishment of navigation channels had been completed on several stretches of the Tigris south of Baghdad, and in 1987 a river freight route using barges was opened between Baghdad and Al Amarah.

Iraq has 38,402 kilometers of paved roads. Expressway No. 1-a 1200-kilometer, six-lane freeway-connects Baghdad to Kuwait in the south and runs to Jordan and Syria in the west. A 630-kilometer freeway (Expressway No. 2) runs north from Baghdad to the Turkish border, where it links up with the modern freeway connecting southeast Turkey to Ankara and Istanbul. Another Baghdad-Basra route is planned via Kut and Amarah and will be known as Expressway No. 3.

The Iraqi government has long been openly hostile to the Marsh Arabs, or Maadan, people living in the marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in a triangle-shaped region formed by the cities of Amarah, Basrah, and Nasseriyah.

In Amarah province, access to food allegedly is used to reward regime supporters and silence opponents. Shi'a groups report that, due to this policy, the humanitarian condition of Shi'a in the south continued to suffer despite a significant expansion of the oil-for-food program.

From May 19 to May 27, 1999, the al Fatah al-Mubaeen forces of the Special Republican Guards and Ba'ath Party militia under the command of Aziz Salih al-Noman reportedly conducted operations in the Jazirah region of Kut, Amarah, and Nasiriyah provinces. The local resistance reports that it repelled the attack.

Camp Abu Naji

The British 1 LI Battlegroup took over the Maysan Province in October 2003. The bulk of the Battlegroup is based at Camp Abu Naji which is just south of Al Amarah, the main city of Maysan Province. The facilities here are pretty good.

Camp Jennings

The British 1 LI Battlegroup took over the Maysan Province in October 2003. In the north, B Squadron of the Queen's Royal Hussars live in an old barracks in the town of Ali Ash Sharqi that is called Camp Jennings. The very boggy Camp was in a dreadful state when they arrived but it is looking much better now after a lot of hard work by the Squadron. The Squadron patrols the towns of Ali Al Gharbi, Ali Ash Sharqi and Kumayt and the hinterland on both sides of the River Tigris.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:47:24 ZULU