Iraq, Baghdad – Neighborhoods in Baghdad such as Hay Al-Jama’a and Ameriyah had some stability and security side after the Sahwa took control of those neighborhoods, others were not that lucky and still face problems with security. There have been many rumors circulating about the Sahwa Councils, in particular, many Iraqis have begun to believe that some of the Sahwa members were previously members of Al-Qa’eda. These rumors have begun to increase suspicions about the Sahwa and Iraqi civilians have begun wondering whether they are really trying to help make neighborhoods safer or are just working for money.
The US military were has blown up some house in neighborhoods such as Hay Al-Jama’a, a house sitting next to Baghdad Highway was blown up by the Sahwa and US forces. One neighbor living next to the destroyed house, who requested to remain anonymous, told Alive in Baghdad that the owner of this house were traveling abroad to Amman, Jordan and the house was destroyed without his knowledge. There were also rumors that this particular house was being used by Al-Qa’eda, although neighbors have said they were unsubstantiated. Another blast took place in Baghdad Al-Jadeeda, when US military blew up a building that belonged to a merchant who was traveling in Syria when his building was demolished, this according to a neighbor who asked to be known only by his first name, Abbas.
Neighborhoods like Adhamiya face similar doubts about the Sahwa Councils as well. Although Adhamiya residents overall seemed to be generally happy about the appearance of the Sahwa and the re-establishment of security, there have been some mistakes. In Adhamiya the Sahwa found some suspicious cars in a parking lot next to an important medical clinic in Adhamiya. This clinic served much of Adhamiya and provided treatment to many patients with chronic diseases. According to the caretaker of the parking lot, some members of the Sahwa came to take the cars, which are believed to have been left by members of Al-Qa’eda. He asked them to check the cars first to see whether they belonged to someone, and after searching the cars they found many of the cars wired with bombs or storing weapons. When the Sahwa and US troops demolished the cars, there was an accident with destroyed much of the clinic as well as two generators belonging to local residents. Alive in Baghdad spoke with the caretaker of the lot and the director of the clinic to get their perspective on the impact of the Sahwa in Adhamiya.