Al Khalis

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Al Khalis (Khalis or Al Khales) (Arabic: الخالص‎) is a town in Iraq, roughly 15 kilometers (9 mi) northwest of Baqubah. It is the main town of Al Khalis District, one of the six districts of the Diyala Governorate. In the Arabic language, Al Khalis translates to the word pure. However, the name and the word hark back to the imperial Caliphate, Persian and Ottoman times when "Khalisa" stood for "exclusive", meaning the royal land/royal property exclusive to the royal house.

Al Khalis now is a collection of many neighbourhoods which was built around Alibat, a small farming village inhabited by a mix of Sunnis and Shia whom coexisted together and intermarried with each other. Alibat is a compound word which translates to "Ali Sleptover". Ali is the cousin of prophet Mohammed and also the fourth Khalif in Islam. There is no historical record indicating that Ali indeed slept over in the village.

The Khalis district previously housed the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI, MEK, MKO) in Camp Ashraf. They are currently being housed at the former Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport. Ashraf City residents are all considered as "protected persons," under the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, this has not been upheld since the departure of coalition forces.

The population of the Khalis district has become increasingly Shia in its composition, which now form it vast majority in 2016.

The town was the site of the 2015 Al Khalis prison break.

See also


Coordinates: 33°50′N 44°30′E / 33.833°N 44.500°E / 33.833; 44.500

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