Iraqi Forces Now Securing Historical Ziggurat At Ur

Approximately 500 attendees were on hand to see security of the well-preserved Ziggurat of Ur ceremoniously transferred back to the Iraqi security forces here.

Since 2003, security of the 5,000-year-old Ziggurat has mainly been under the control of Coalition forces. However, that changed during a ceremony as one of Iraq’s most famous archeological sites was officially returned to Iraqi authorities.

“What you see here today has been set up by the Iraqi people,” said Dr. Anna Prouse, the Dhi Qar Provincial Reconstruction Team leader. “We will still be here to help out and I hope the Ziggurat will be open to the children and the general public.”

View of the Ziggurat of Ur, as it was ceremoniously transferred back to the Iraqi security forces.
View of the Ziggurat of Ur, as it was ceremoniously transferred back to the Iraqi security forces.
Dr. Anna Prouse, the Dhi Qar Provincial Reconstruction Team leader at the Ziggurat of Ur handover.
Dr. Anna Prouse, the Dhi Qar Provincial Reconstruction Team leader at the Ziggurat of Ur handover.

The site is now officially controlled by the Dhi Qar Iraqi police and managed by the Ministry Of Tourism.

Prouse’s PRT and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division “Long Knife” brigade assisted the Iraqi security forces and Mr. Hamdani, the Head of Antiquities in Nasiryah, to plan the event, which included various government officials and military leaders throughout central and southern Iraq.

“Every citizen needs to have access to this Ziggurat because education is not just in the class rooms,” Prouse added. “Education can also happen here.”

The transfer marks one of the final acts of partnership between the Iraqi security forces and the Long Knife Brigade as the unit is set to return to Ft. Hood, Texas in early June.

“I am extremely proud to personally witness this special event in honor of a site that is one of the oldest structures in the history of the world,” said Col. Philip Battaglia, the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. commander. “We will always look back on our time here as a very special moment in the history of this great nation.”

Col. Philip Battaglia, the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. commander and Iraqi officials at the handover of the Ziggurat of Ur.
Col. Philip Battaglia, the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. commander and Iraqi officials at the handover of the Ziggurat of Ur.
Col. Philip Battaglia, the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. commander speaks at the handover of the Ziggurat of Ur to Iraqi forces.
Col. Philip Battaglia, the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. commander speaks at the handover of the Ziggurat of Ur to Iraqi forces.
Iraqi children at the Ziggurat of Ur.
Iraqi children at the Ziggurat of Ur.

By Spc. Creighton Holub

Military Friends of NewsBlaze originated these stories, sending them directly to us from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and some in the USA.