Nasriye [variants: Nasariya, Nasriyah, Nasiriyah, Nasrie, Nasiriyeh, Nasiriyah] is a provincial capital, SE Iraq, on the Euphrates River. It is the center of a date-growing region. Founded in 1870, the ruins of Ur are nearby. The British occupation of southern Iraq (the Basrah vilayet) was completed with the capture of Amarah and Nasiriyah in the summer of 1915.
Ambitious contracts were made shortly before the Kuwait crisis for oilfield development in South Iraq, a gas pipeline to be laid from Al Nasiriyah to Baghdad, and build the Al-Yussefiyah thermal power plant and a number of other projects. The Al-Nasiriyah-Baghdad gas pipeline construction is nearing completion (total length 345 km). During the Gulf War, both of the Baiji plants in northern Iraq as well as the refineries at Basrah, Daura, and Nasiriyah were severely damaged. This cut Iraq's refining capacity to around 60,000 bbl/d in March 1991. While much of Iraq's refinery capacity appears to have been restored by 1993, several of the smaller refineries, namely the 27,000-bbl/d Kirkuk and the 27,000-bbl/d Nasiriyah plants, were cannibalized for parts to repair damage at Baiji, Basrah, and Daura, which was expanded in 1994.
Built in the late 1970s, the An Nasiriyah Southwest Ammunition Storage Point [SW ASP] is located southwest of the city of An Nasiriyah and approximately 8 km to the northeast of Tallil Air Base. It is similar to the Khamisiyah ASP, which is located approximately 25 km to the southeast, in area and number of storage buildings. During the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, Iraq's An Nasiriyah SW ASP was a major Iraqi munitions depot. During the 1990-1991 period, the national intelligence community associated the storage of chemical or biological munitions with the types of bunkers found at An Nasiriyah: specifically, S-shaped bunkers. Five of these were struck by air-delivered ordnance and, by February 3, 1991, had been either heavily damaged or destroyed. The intelligence community now believes that the pre-war assessments of which bunker types were used to store chemical or biological munitions were inaccurate, and that during Desert Storm, the bunkers at the An Nasiriyah Southwest ASP probably did not contain chemical or biological munitions. However, another type of bunker at An Nasiriyah "likely" did contain mustard filled artillery rounds at the time of the aerial bombing. In 1996, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 687, Iraq declared that more than 6,000 155mm mustard-filled artillery rounds had been stored in bunker number 8 at this facility from approximately January 15, 1991, to February 15, 1991. Iraq stated they moved the rounds prior to US occupation.
Government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers. A once sizable population of Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced. Furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations.
As of 1998 the Iraqi National Congress claimed to have the support of Iran and Tehran-backed muslim guerilla leaders ready to start an insurgency in three key cities of southern Iraq -- Amara, Nasriyah and Basra.
In January 1999, according to a report from the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), security officials reportedly arrested Sheikh Awas, imam of the Nasiriyah city mosque. Shortly after the arrest of Sheikh Awas, hundreds of Shi'a congregation members reportedly marched on the security directorate to demand that Awas be released immediately to them. Security forces allegedly opened fire on the unarmed crowd on 15 January 1999 with automatic weapons and threw hand grenades. Five people were killed, 11 wounded and 300 were arrested in Nasiriyah city in Iraq in a demonstration in front of the Security Office of Nasiriyah Governerate. The security services subsequently banned Friday prayer in Nasiriyah.
In late February 1999 the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sadr and two of his sons were assassinated in the Shiite center of Al-Najaf. The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) maintained that the Iraqi Army shelled areas of Al-Nasiriyyah over which it had lost control. But Iraqi Information-ministry officials took journalists to Nasiriyah, where they found no trace of bombardment. A SCIRI statement issued in Damascus said that the unrest was restricted to Nasiriyah by Sunday where the buildings of the Nasiriyah Governate and Ba'th Party headquarters were attacked by the crowds, the "Tehran Times" reported on 22 February.
FOB Al Khidr
FOB Al Khidr is located along the Euphrates River between Nasriyah and Samawah.
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