Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Surge and Sadr City

Sadr City is no longer a no-mans land as the U.S., in the turn-about strategy of the surge, increases the size of its footprint with a vengance.

More than 1,100 American and Iraqi soldiers in Humvees and armored personnel carriers moved Sunday into the volatile Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, a stronghold of Iraq’s largest Shiite militia, as part of the latest American-led security crackdown in the capital.

The soldiers met no resistance, and no shots were fired, as they patrolled the streets and conducted house-to-house searches for illegal weapons and militia fighters linked to sectarian crimes, according to residents and the American military command.

Iraqi officials said American soldiers also began to construct a small garrison, one of a constellation of neighborhood military posts that compose a major component of the new war plan, unveiled by President Bush in January, to pacify Baghdad.

The sweep was the largest military operation in Sadr City involving American troops since 2004, when the Americans suppressed a violent uprising of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, using ground forces and aerial bombardments.

This is all good news. Read the rest of the story here.

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