Hawr Rajab is a neighborhood in south Baghdad that needs prayer.
Several months ago, AQ came in and chased over 400 people out of their homes in Hawr Rajab by threatening them with kidnapping, murder, etc. Even the local neighborhood watch, who had claimed responsibility for the area’s protection, ran away.
These people fled to and entry control point – a checkpoint that is well-manned by coalition and concerned local citizens. The coalition forces went back into Hawr Rajab and drove out AQ. Then they started bringing people back little by little. They came together as a community – shias and sunnis even living together as they took back their neighborhood. This encouraged even more of the community to join the “Concerned Local Citizens,” adding over 300 people to their number. So when AQ came back in again, the CLC group drove them off themselves, even capturing a few of the bad guys. Later, an Iraqi Army mechanized unit was added to the area, setting up patrols to keep the insurgents out.
Things have settled down in Hawr Rajab in the last few weeks. But the peace is still tenuous. Pray that the concerned local citizens and the Iraqi army will continue to stand up for themselves and take ownership of the area. Pray that the trend will continue.
Additional Report on this neighborhood:
IA, citizens and US air combine to take down enemy attack
Al Qaeda enemy opened fire on Iraqi Army troops and concerned local citizens in Hawr Rajab on November 22, 2007, and paid the price. An estimated 15 insurgents first fired small arms and mortars, trying to knock out an IA checkpoint. They continued their fire through the morning.
In support of the IA, the US brought in an air weapons team using Kiowa “Warriors” with the 3-17 Cav. The crews attacked a van that was transporting four insugents involved in the attack. The van also had a DSHKA high caliber machine gun and mortar system. It was also carrying RPGs.
The IA and citizens did sustain casualties at the checkpoint, but held their ground. The enemy attack failed to overrun the checkpoint. These concerned citizens groups mean business. We need to stand with them in prayer as they step up to fight for the peace of their own nation.
(report from Talking Proud)