Hilla / Al Hillah
Iraq's southern city of Hilla is home to nearly half a million people.
About 60 Km to the south of Hilla is the holy city of Najaf, where lies the Shrine of the Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib with its resplendent golden dome and minarets. Great quantities of priceless objects, gifts of potentates and sultans, are treasured in the mosque.
Ezekiel's Tomb is mentioned in a number of medieval Jewish sources as being located at a village 20 miles south of Hilla in central Iraq.
In 637 AD the decisive battle of the Arabian-Persian War was fought at Kadisiya, near the present Hilla. The growing power of the Arabian Moslems made certain a showdown clash with the empire of Sassanian Persia, to the east. The Persians moved first. In the spring of 637, Rustam, regent for Yazdegerd III, took an army of about 100,000 men across the Euphrates River to Kadisiya in Iraq. Expecting the Persian attack, Caliph Omar I sent forth 30,000 Arabian cavalrymen under Sa'ad ibn-Abi-Waqqas. The Persian army disintegrated, taking terrible losses from the Arabians, who gave no quarter.
In March 1991 government forces temporarily lost control of major cities and towns in northern and southern Iraq. On 13 March 1991 the execution of sixty civilians suspected of armed activity against government forces was carried out publicly by a firing squad in Saddam Square, the main city square of al-Hilla. On 16 March 1991 at al- Mahawil Garrison near the city of al-Hilla between 150 - 170 men and boys from the Shi'a community were shot dead. Others were reportedly thrown to their death from the top floor of al-Hilla Hospital on 9 March 1991, or pushed into the Tigris River and Shat al-'Arab waterway with weights tied to their feet. Victims' bodies were said to have been dragged through the streets or left hanging from electricity pylons to terrorize the local population. Members of the armed forces from al-Hilla who refused to fight against their own people when government forces entered the city were executed.
In May 2003 the First Marine Expeditionary Force coordinated with more than 30 relief organizations to provide water, food, shelter, public health and utilities, communication, law and order, public transportation and education to the southern Iraq population. The First Marine Expeditionary Force and its U.K., Spanish and Korean coalition partners total nearly 85,000 troops and are responsible for nine governances in southern Iraq. The force oversees the major cities of Al Basrah, An Nasiriyah, Al Kut, An Najaf, Karbala, Al Hillah, Ad Diwaniyah, Al Amarah, and As Samawa and a population of more than seven million people.
Contractors on the battlefield work to improve quality of life for soldiers. A great deal of these improvements is courtesy of AMC's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Support Unit. This unique, one of a kind unit assigned to AMC is the interface between military units and the civilian contractors providing logistics support to combatant commanders in the field. At the Coalition forces, Multi-National Division-Central South in Al Hilla, LOGCAP is being used to provide almost all logistical, base camp and life support services to more than 20 coalition nations. Some of these units came over with only the rucksacks on their back, no cots, tents or even vehicles.
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.
There are approximately 1,400 service members at Camp Charlie. The largest contingent of service members is Polish and the smallest is American. El Salvador and Mongolia are also stationed at the camp.
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