Colonel Dominic Caraccilo, commander of the 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), greets Qarghuli sheikhs prior to a meeting between the tribal leaders and government officials May 3 at Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah’s home. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher McKenna)
CAMP STRIKER (May 5, 2008) — Local government officials visited tribal leaders of Qarghuli to discuss a number of issues May 3.
“The government representatives approached us to speak of our concerns,” said Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, who held the meeting in his home. “This is out of the ordinary. We are usually the ones going to them about our concerns and issues.”
Leaders of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), attended the meeting but only to observe.
“It’s rare for me to come to a meeting and not have to mediate, but I didn’t have to do that today,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT). “That just goes to show that the government cares about its people and is taking the steps to move forward in the right direction.”Many concerns were raised during the meeting, such as the farmers market, which recently reopened in Yusifiyah.
“As a leader for the Yusifiyah Nahia, it is my job to make sure that my people’s concerns are known, and that steps are being taken to help those concerns,” said Sheikh Somar Abd’al’amer Kother Hamdi al-Anbari, Yusifiyah Nahia director. The town of Qarghuli falls under the government jurisdiction of Yusifiyah.
Abdullah said government officials came during a time of stability in Yusifiyah, which can be attributed to the combined security presence of Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police and Coalition forces.
“Yusifiyah has become a symbol for Iraq as to how multiple tribes can coexist with one another without having to worry about violence,” Somar said.
He added that months ago things were much different, with violence in the area at a peak. The nahia is coming together, Somar said, in ways many could have never expected.
“Now that good is being shown on a regular basis, it has become a convenience to work hand in hand with the government,” Abdullah said.