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From a ridge known locally as Baghouz Mountain, the most contested corner of the Middle East resembles an oasis: it's a splash of green on a desert horizon stretching from the banks of the Euphrates to a sprawling area of new homes housing new - and unruly - neighbours.

Little moves in the heat of the day. The river that has sustained Iraq and eastern Syria through the ages comes alive at night, and so does the town of al-Bukamal, where smugglers, militia members, proxy groups, mercenaries and the armies of three nations have all taken prominent stakes since the juggernaut of Islamic State was defeated here three years ago.

Start of American Invasion and Occupation of Iraq - Tal Afar

From my diary ...

Tal Afar & Euphrates River Valley | @EuroTrib - Jan. 2006 |

Sadah is a village of about 2,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates River about eight miles from the Syrian border in Iraq's western province of Anbar. The isolated community has one main road and about 200 houses scattered over a rural area.

Two cars full of families, who fled the violence to spend the night in the desert, were hit at night killing all, including three children under the age of ten.

"Operation Iron Fist" in the town of Sadah near the Syrian border replaces the Tal Afar campagne named: "Operation Restoring Rights".  Tal Afar, insurgents escaped before offensive by American Forces.

by Oui on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 at 08:10:03 PM EST

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