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It is believed the area was named after the Muslim scholar Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī, and it is surrounded by various other districts, such as Al sheoala, Albakrea, Alkadraa, Al Azzawi, Al Tindal, Al Turwa'al and al Aadel.
Originally patrolled by elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, Ghazaliyah eventually became the responsibility of 1st Battalion (STRYKER), 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. In October, 2006, 1-23 INF assumed responsibility for the overall Quick Reaction Force of Baghdad and handed Ghazaliya to 2-12 CAV, an incoming unit.
In 2006 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment (operating under 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division) assumed responsibility for Al Ghazaliyah. During the Baghdad security plan, C Company, 2-12 Cav built Joint Security Station Casino to combat the Shiite influx from the north. After Casino, D Company built Joint Security Station (JSS) Thrasher, named after SGT Robert Thrasher who was killed by a sniper during a cordon and search mission inside Ghazaliyah. Upon completion of JSS Thrasher, B Company built JSS Maverick. The combination of surrounding Ghazaliya with concrete barriers, building the JSS's and hiring 450 local men (known the "Ghazaliya Guardians") to man the neighborhood checkpoints resulted in the pacification of Ghazaliya in June 2007.
Ghazaliyah was handed over to 1st Battalion, 75th Cavalry Regiment in November 2007. 1-75 CAV patrolled and continued pacification as well as finding and arresting high value targets within the area until December 2008 when operational responsibility was handed over to 5th Squadron 4th US Cavalry Regiment 1st ID.
The 4 JSS's located in Ghazaliya were then renamed "JSS Ghazaliya I, II, III, and IV" respectively. JSS Ghazaliya I was occupied by HHT 5-4 Cavalry (abbreviated CAV), JSS Ghazaliya II was occupied by HQ Platoon and 2nd Platoon, B Troop 5-4 CAV, JSS Ghazaliya III was occupied by 1st Platoon, B Troop 5-4 CAV, and JSS Ghazaliya IV was occupied by C Troop 5-4 CAV. In late November, 2008, JSS Ghazaliya III was handed over to Iraqi Army and 1st Platoon B Troop joined HQ and 2nd Platoon in JSS Ghazaliya II, which was closed in late February, 2009. HHT 5-4 CAV moved their operational headquarters to Camp Liberty, while B Troop assumed control of JSS Ghazaliya I for the remainder of their deployment cycle. JSS Ghazaliya IV was turned over to the Iraqi Federal Police in March, 2009. B Troop 5-4 CAV continued working with Iraqi Army and Iraqi Federal Police until September, 2009, when they handed over control of the area to units from 1st Cavalry Division.
During B Troop, 5-4 Cavalry's deployment cycle, they oversaw the security of Ghazaliya while working with Iraqi Security Forces. Their accomplishments included arresting all members of an insurgent group that called themselves "The 1920's Revolutionary Battalion" named after the coup that brought the Baath party into power. They also located a cache of over 300 mortar rounds, a 30-caliber automatic weapon, and a flag fashioned for the 1920s Revolutionary Battalion, with the assistance of a local farmer.