Mahmoudiyah (Arabic: المحمودية) (also transliterated Al-Mahmudiyah, Al-Mahmoudi, or Al-Mahmudiya, prefixed usually with Al-) is a rural city south of Baghdad. Known as the "Gateway to Baghdad," the city's proximity to Baghdad made it central to the counterinsurgency campaign.
Al-Mahmudiya has approximately 350,000 inhabitants, most of whom are SunniArabs, over 75% of Al-Mahmudiya are Sunni, as reported by the UNHCR IDPs list. While the control of rural areas around the area of Mahmudiyah is by Sunnis, such as the towns of Latifiyah and Yusufiyah, the Shiites remain in the center of Mahmoudiyah city.
During the Iraq War, a war crime took place in Mahmudiyah on March 12, 2006 in which five soldiers of the 502d Infantry Regiment, raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi (an Iraqi Sunni Arab girl) and then murdered her, after killing her father Qassim Hamza Raheem, her mother Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and her six-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. The soldiers then burned the bodies to conceal evidence of the crime. Four of the soldiers were convicted of rape and murder, and the fifth was convicted of lesser crimes.