Here’s the good news that you didn’t see on the nightly or morning news networks.
Just six months ago, this mostly Sunni neighborhood was one of the centers of al-Qaida in Iraq operations. The district in western Baghdad was hit by more than a dozen bombings and shootings some days. Few people dared to venture onto the streets.
On Tuesday, women shopped and men drank tea in sidewalk cafes. Occasionally, U.S. soldiers walking the streets were greeted with salaams and smiles.
What is happening here reflects similar trends across Baghdad and parts of Iraq, where civilian and U.S. military casualties have dropped sharply in the past two months. But the speed of the turnaround in places such as Amariyah has taken almost everyone – including U.S. military forces in the area – by surprise.