By Spc. Cynthia Teears
11th Public Affairs Detachment
The Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, Iraqi army, visited the students at the Al Sahaba School for a good-neighbor mission in Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 5.
The Mosul neighborhood around the school has gone through a great amount of change over the last few years.
"This neighborhood used to be a very bad neighborhood," said Col. Salah Adeziz, executive officer, 7/2 IA Division. "A lot of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and terrorists were here."
Progress has been seen with the citizens of Mosul because the citizens are now helping out and calling the Iraqi security force when they see terrorist activity.
"We've built a relationship between us and the civilians here," Salah said. "All the civilians now make good relationships with us. They warn us about any terrorists that come here and it's very, very safe now. We came here and you see nothing happened to us, so the relationship is working."
The IA colonel had a positive attitude and showed great confidence about Mosul and the current progress.
"I think from now on it will be good, because we are working with the civilians, said Salah. "We were working on the boundaries and now we are working inside Mosul."
Many of the problems in Iraq were instigated from outside of the country. Years ago the citizens of Iraq did not have the problems between their cultures that they experience now. Marriage between the different nationalities was not uncommon.
"Believe me, the civilians in Mosul are very, very good people," Salah said. "All the problems came from outside of Mosul, outside the boundary of Iraq."
Mosul is in a difficult situation, different from some other areas of Iraq. The communities of Mosul have a large variety of diversity. Communities contain Kurdish, Arab, Turkish and other nationalities all living together.
"I am from Mosul, and I am Sunni," Salah said. "My neighbor is Kurdish. In 2003, my neighbor protected my family. When problems started for the Kurdish in Mosul, I protected his family. We are brothers, eating from the same dish and working together. I know where the problems come from."
After all Mosul's past troubles Salah was certain of success and a peaceful future for his city.
"I have a message to all the world, all of Iraq is working together," Salah said. "Almost 90 percent of the terrorists have been caught. There is nothing that will make us stop working with our people. All are shaking hands and helping each other."
This work, Iraqi army building positive relationships, by PFC Cynthia Teears Van Cleve, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.