While Arab nationalists in Iraq and beyond have historically touted the Anbar as a bastion of Arabism in the country, the region has a more complex history. Ironically the word “Anbar” is Persian for “warehouse”; it was given this name by the ancient Persian Sassanid Empire, since the whole area served as a massive warehouse for its troops.¿Tanto cuesta dar este tipo de información en la prensa generalista? Yo creo que ayudaría a comprender la situación en Irak.
From the 16th century onwards, while Mesopotamia was gradually brought over to the Shi’a branch of Islam by the missionary zeal of the Iranian Safavid Empire, the Anbar region remained mostly Sunni. At the same time the region’s close proximity to two important Arab capitals, Amman and Damascus, underpinned its status as a gateway to the Arab world. These two facts shaped the region’s distinctive political and religious culture.
In the 20th century the Anbar region emerged as a bastion of modern Iraqi nationalism. In 1920, a rebellion against nascent British rule erupted in Fallujah, the so-called city of mosques. The British sent the brilliant explorer and distinguished colonial strategist, Lt. Colonel Gerald Leachman to defeat the rebels. In a remarkable battle that resonates to this day, Leachman and a sizeable number of his troops were killed on the southern outskirts of Fallujah by rebels led by local leader Shaykh Dhari.
In subsequent decades both Fallujah and the province’s capital Ramadi produced some of the Arab nationalists that determined the political destiny of modern Iraq. In this respect, the region’s close proximity to Syria (which in the 1930s and 1940s was the intellectual center of Arab nationalism) was a decisive factor. While a significant constituency amongst the prominent tribes and the more urbanized elements of Anbar society were against the Baath party (primarily because of its links to the Iraqi Communist Party), the advent of the second Bath regime in 1968 was broadly welcomed.
Ni nos falta razón, ni nos sobra razón
16 de julio de 2005
Irak: la provincia de al Anbar
De todas las provincias iraquíes, hay una que da especiales dolores de cabeza a los militares norteamericanos. Se trata de la de al Anbar, fronteriza con Siria, cuya capital es Ramadi y en la que se encuentra la malograda Faluya. Allí se refugian la mayoría de los grupos armados, muchos, variados y, según algunos expertos, formados en su mayoría por iraquíes. Pero la resistencia de dicha provincia a las tropas extranjeras no es nada nuevo, como comentan en Terrorism Monitor:
Por Sergio a las 1:38