Sadr City

Sadr City (Arabic: مدينة الصدر‎, romanizedMadinat aṣ-Ṣadr), formerly known as Al-Thawra (Arabic: الثورة‎) and Saddam City, is a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq. It was built in 1959 by Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim and later unofficially renamed Sadr City after Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

Sadr City – or more accurately Thawra District (Arabic: حيّ الثورة‎, romanized: Ḥayy ath-Thawra) – is one of nine administrative districts in Baghdad. A public housing project neglected by Saddam Hussein, Sadr City holds around 1 million residents.[1]

Sadr City

مدينة الصدر
(Madinat aṣ-Ṣadr)
District of Baghdad
SadrCity
Sadr City is located in Iraq
Sadr City
Sadr City
Al-A'amiriya in Iraq
Coordinates: 33°23′20″N 44°27′30″E / 33.38889°N 44.45833°E
CountryIraq
GovernorateBaghdad Governorate
CityBaghdad
Area
 • Total13 km2 (5 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
 • Total3.500.000[1]

History

Sadr City Market - CPT July 2005
A local merchant operates a stall in the city's market

Sadr City was built in Iraq in 1959 by Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim in response to grave housing shortages in Baghdad. At the time named Revolution City (Arabic: مدينة الثورة‎, romanized: Al-Thawra), it provided housing for Baghdad's urban poor, many of whom had come from the countryside and who had until then lived in appalling conditions. Naziha al-Dulaimi was instrumental in turning the vast slums of eastern Baghdad into a massive public works and housing project that came to be known as Revolution City. It quickly became a stronghold of the Iraqi Communist Party, and resistance to the Baathist-led coup of 1963 was strong there.[2] The development was devised by the Greek planner Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, who also designed Islamabad and Riyadh.[3]

In 1982, the district was renamed Saddam City.[4] In the 1980s, the district became known for poverty and communist organizing, with illegal documents and, in some cases, people themselves being hidden from the authorities in overflowing septic tanks.[5] The power of communism in the district is ironic, given how Doxiadis's design had been seen as "anticommunist" given how it promoted a village atmosphere in an effort to ease the transition of rural migrants to the city.[6]

After the foreign occupation of Baghdad in April 2003, the district was unofficially renamed Sadr City after deceased shiite leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

2003

In April, 2003, the US Army 2d Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment established their headquarters at the abandoned Sumer cigarette factory located on the eastern side of Sadr City. In honor of the history of the factory, the military named their new camp Camp Marlboro. In addition to the 800 soldiers in the squadron, the camp housed 120 military police of the 549th Military Police Company, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company of the 2-37th Armored Regiment (2-37 AR), two six man teams of civil affairs soldiers from the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, 1 platoon from the 51st Signal Battalion (Airborne), and the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, and two three-man PSYOP teams from 361st PSYOP Company. Service Support for contingent of 800 Soldiers was provided by the 730th Quartermaster Company, a National Guard unit from Johnson City, Tennessee activated and assigned to the 13th Combat Service Support Battalion under 24th COSCOM. The Crusader Company of 2-37 Armor later replaced the 3rd platoon as they were sent to rejoin their company at Camp War Eagle.

Sadr City-July 2005 CPT
A young girl walks through Sadr City.

During the fall and winter of 2003, American forces focused on rebuilding civilian infrastructure and training local leaders in democracy.[7] District and neighborhood councils were established, giving the residents of Sadr City representation in the new Iraqi government. The municipal building became the centerpiece of the reconstruction effort, and it was the site of a forward outpost of American soldiers that met daily with council members and citizens.[8] Progress was slow due to escalating tensions and violence, and attacks against the American military increased significantly in late 2003.[7]

On November 9, 2003, a violent confrontation erupted between the chairman of the District Council, elements of the 2d ACR, and a team from the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion. The chairman refused to surrender a pistol during security screening and was shot by an American soldier during a shoving match. The death of the chairman caused a serious setback to reconstruction efforts and led to increased violence.[7]

On October 9, 2003, the Mahdi Army In Sadr City ambushed an American convoy, inflicting multiple casualties. The Combat Patrol, made up of vehicles from the 2/2 ACR was attacked by approximately 100 men with several improvised explosive devices, RPGs and automatic weapons fire from the surrounding rooftops and streets killing and injuring soldiers from E Trp 2/2 ACR.[9] The Mahdi Army attempted to capture several soldiers during the ambush, but they were ultimately unsuccessful in their efforts to obtain hostages.[9]

2004

Throughout March 2004 through July 2004, FOB IronHorse, in Sadr City, elements of the 1st Brigade Combat Team and the 13th Signal Battalion were hit almost daily with Mortars and RPGs. TF Lancer was located at FOB War Eagle, northern side of Sadr City. There was no American media in the area to report the multiple mortar and RPG fire which hit both FOBs almost daily.

In late March, 2004, Task Force Lancer, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Gary Volesky arrived at Camp War Eagle on the north-east corner of Sadr City, to assume responsibility for the governance and security of Sadr City. Task Force Lancer consisted primarily of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment from the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division under the command of Colonel Robert B. Abrams. Citation Needed

On April 4, 2004 the Mahdi Army ambushed a U.S. Army patrol in Sadr City, killing eight American soldiers, and wounding 57 more.[10] This sparked fierce urban fighting between the Mahdi Army and newly arrived soldiers of the B Company 20th Engineer Battalion 2-5, C Battery 1-82 Field Artillery, 2-8 and 1-12 CAV of the 1st Cavalry Division (1CD); alongside the just-relieved 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and elements from 2-37 AR of the 1st Armored Division.

In late 2004 the Mahdi Army enacted a cease-fire with U.S. troops, and offered to help repair and rebuild the city's main infrastructure which was leaving millions without electricity, water or sewage. On October 10, Camp Marlboro was hit by three mortars launched from within the city, which saw the U.S. beef up security and attach an additional 28 tanks and 14 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the camp. The following day, on October 11, the Weapons Handover Program began in the city, which was designed to purchase weapons from militants.[11]

2005

On May 15, 2005 the bodies of 13 Iraqis were discovered in a shallow grave, each blindfolded, tied and shot multiple times in the back of the head. They had been hastily buried in a vacant lot. On May 18, gunmen shot and killed Ali Mutib Sakr, a Transport Ministry driver. On May 23, a car bomb exploded outside a crowded restaurant, killing eight Iraqis and wounding an additional 89.[12] On March 12 three car bombs exploded, killing thirty-five people. On July 1 a car bomb exploded in an open-air market killing 77 and wounding 96.[13]

In August 2005 the Iraqi government and the U.S. Army locked down Sadr City for three days to search houses for hostages and death squads. Some hostages were found and freed. Multiple death squad leaders were arrested. In these three days, the number of murders in Baghdad reached the lowest level ever compared to the average of the previous months of the U.S.-led war.

2006

On October 24, 2006, the U.S. Army locked down Sadr City while searching for a kidnapped U.S. soldier. During the lock down, deaths dropped by 50%. When Prime Minister al-Maliki demanded the end of the blockade, the murder rate returned to previous levels.[14]

On November 23, 2006, a series of car bombs exploded, followed by mortar attacks, which killed at least 215 people. See 23 November 2006 Sadr City bombings for further details.

2007 Surge

As the U.S. began a surge of forces into Iraq, Operation Imposing Law was implemented in Sadr City. On station US army units included 82nd Airborne DIV 2/325 INF White Falcons and 2nd INF DIV C- CO 2/3 INF SBCT.

2008 fighting

In March 2008, during the Battle of Basra, clashes erupted in Sadr City between the U.S. and the Mahdi Army. At that time, Sadr City was secured with the use of Strykers from the 1st Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment led by LTC Daniel Barnett. The fighting grew so intense that armored vehicles as well as M2A3 Bradley IFV and M1A1/2 Abrams MBT were called in for assistance. The Mahdi Army relied heavily in the use of improvised explosive devices allegedly smuggled from Iran [15] and engaged U.S. forces with sniper fire and intense small arms engagements in the heavily congested urban area. The U.S. launched at least one air strike, killing 10 reported militants. As of March 29, 2008, about 75 Iraqis have been killed and 500 injured. The Iraq Health Ministry claims these are all civilians, but the U.S. disputes this.[16]

The Mahdi Army intensified rocket attacks on the Green Zone and other U.S. bases, killing at least three American soldiers and several civilians.[17] On April 6 Iraqi and U.S. forces moved into the southern third of Sadr City to prevent rocket and mortar fire being launched from the area. 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment then took control of southern Sadr City and hosted Charlie Company, 1-64 Armor, Bravo Company, 1-14 Infantry and Delta Company, 4-64 Armor along with U.S. combat engineers from the 3rd Brigade Heavy Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, the headquarters brigade for the operation, began construction of a concrete barrier along Al-Quds street to seal the southern third of the city off and allow reconstruction to take place.[18] C/1-68, a tank and mechanized infantry company team under command and control of 1-68 Armor Combined Arms Battalion, and D/4-64, a tank and mechanized infantry company team, attached to 1-2 SCR, were the primary wall build company level organizations.[19] On May 1, 2008, D/4-64 and B/1-14 killed 28 Mahdi Fighters just north of the concrete barrier.[20][21] Over the next month, the Mahdi Army launched a number of attacks on the troops building the barrier, but sustained heavy losses. Heavy Engineer support for building the wall was provided by 821st Horizontal Engineer Company, 769th Eng. Bn., 35th Eng. Bde.[22] On May 3, 2008 soldiers from Charlie Company, 2-30 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division placed additional barriers along the eastern boundary of Sadr City to isolate the militants' stronghold, but met heavy resistance as Mahdi Fighters attacked the soldiers with RPGs, IEDs, and small arms fire. The Mahdi fighters were able to destroy two HMMWVs and two MRAPs, however, the unit responded with combined air and ground strikes and used tanks, attack helicopters, and heavy weapons to repel the assault while claiming the deaths of nearly 30 militants.[23][24]

On May 10, a ceasefire was ordered by Muqtada Al-Sadr, allowing Iraqi troops into all of Sadr City. On May 20, in an entirely Iraqi-planned and executed operation, six battalions of Iraqi troops, including troops from the 1st (Quick Reaction Force) division stationed in Al-Anbar and armored forces from the 9th Division based in Taji, operating without the involvement of U.S. ground forces, pushed deep into Sadr City. The Iraqi Security Forces met little resistance in moving through Sadr City and took up positions formerly occupied by the Mahdi Army, including the Imam Ali and Al-Sadr hospitals and Al-Sadr's political office.[25] Sadr City then became the main base for Shi'a Insurgent group Kata'ib Hezbollah, an offshoot of the Mahdi Army.[26]

Recent history

After a year of relative calm, Sadr City was struck by a massive bomb blast on June 24, 2009 when a bomb-laden vegetable cart or motorcycle was detonated in the Muraidi Market of the town, killing at least 69 civilians and wounding over 150.

Voters in Sadr City allowed the Iraqi National Alliance to make huge gains in provincial elections in 2009 and parliamentary elections in 2010.[27]

Reconstruction efforts

In 2010, Turkish contractors won the bid to rebuild Sadr City in Baghdad. A Turkish consortium won the bid for construction of Baghdad’s Sadr City, offering to complete the massive project for $11.3 billion. The project involves construction of a modern city of 75,000 housing units to accommodate up to 600,000 people.[28]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Summary results of the census of buildings and installations and families in 2009 - the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, the Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ Marr, Phebe; “The Modern History of Iraq”, page 172
  3. ^ Dewachi, Omar (2017). Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 123.
  4. ^ Baghdad (Iraq) - Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ Dewachi, Omar (2017). Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 124.
  6. ^ Menoret, Pascal (2014). Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 69.
  7. ^ a b c The Christian Science Monitor (2003-12-05). "Democracy from scratch". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  8. ^ John Pike. "Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq". Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b "D Magazine, "The Mayor of Fallujah", Nov. 21, 2007". dmagazine.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  10. ^ "CNN.com - Seven U.S. troops die in Baghdad fighting - Apr 4, 2004". April 5, 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  11. ^ CNN https://web.archive.org/web/20041013061739/http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/10/iraq.main/index.html. Archived from the original on October 13, 2004. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Zarqawi is reported hurt", International Herald Tribune, May 25, 2005.
  13. ^ Roug, Louise/Salman, Raheem. "Massacre at Market in Iraq Archived 2006-07-04 at the Wayback Machine", Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2006.
  14. ^ Kukis, Mike. "At Baghdad's Ground Zero", Time, January 19, 2007.
  15. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan (March 2008). "19 Tense Hours in Sadr City Alongside the Mahdi Army". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  16. ^ "Iraq: More US Air strikes on Basra". AP/Google. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  17. ^ Time https://web.archive.org/web/20090221101837/http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0%2C8599%2C1728286%2C00.html?xid=rss-topstories. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Paley, Amit R. (21 May 2008). "U.S. Deploys a Purpose-Driven Distinction". Retrieved 6 April 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  19. ^ https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR100/RR160/RAND_RR160.pdf
  20. ^ "US troops kill 28 Mahdi fighters in Sadr City". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  21. ^ "MND-B soldiers kill 10 criminals in separate clashes". Defense Video Imagery Distribution System. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Engineers Build Wall in Danger Zone". newsblaze.com. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  23. ^ http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/05/us_troops_kill_28_ma_1.php/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Mahdi Army takes a hit in Baghdad, Basrah". The Long War Journal. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  25. ^ Gordon, Michael R.; Farrell, Stephen (May 21, 2008). "Iraqi Troops Take Charge of Sadr City in Swift Push". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  26. ^ http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/12/airforce_uav_hack_121809w/
  27. ^ "Strong showing for anti-U.S. cleric in Baghdad slum". Reuters UK. March 8, 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  28. ^ "ECONOMY - Turkish contractors to rebuild Sadr City in Baghdad". Retrieved 13 August 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 33°23′20″N 44°27′30″E / 33.38889°N 44.45833°E

11 May 2016 Baghdad bombings

On 11 May 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conducted a series of attacks in and near Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, killing at least 110 people and wounding more than 165. According to ISIL, attacks were aimed at Shia fighters.

16 August 2012 Iraq attacks

A series of bombings and shootings occurred in Iraq on 16 August 2012, in one of the most violent attacks since post-US withdrawal insurgency has begun. At least 128 people were killed and more than 400 wounded in coordinated attacks across Iraq, making them the deadliest attacks in the country since October 2009, when 155 were killed in twin bombings near the Justice Ministry in Baghdad.

18 April 2007 Baghdad bombings

The 18 April 2007 Baghdad bombings were a series of attacks that occurred when five car bombs exploded across Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, on 18 April 2007, killing nearly 200 people.The attacks targeted mainly Shia locations and civilians. The Sadriya market had already been struck by a massive truck bombing on 3 February 2007 and was in the process of being rebuilt when the attack took place. The bombings were reminiscent of the level of violence before Operation Law and Order was implemented to secure the Iraqi capital in February 2007.

The attacks came as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraqi forces would assume control of the country's security by the end of the year, and they also came as officials from more than 60 countries attended a UN conference in Geneva on the plight of Iraqi refugees.

1 July 2006 Sadr City bombing

On 1 July 2006, at around 10:00 A.M, a suicide car bombing at a crowded market in Sadr City, a Shi'ite district of Baghdad, killed at least 66 people and wounded 114.

The car was a truck loaded with fruit, under which a "mix of explosives and artillery shells, with ball bearings nearly the size of marbles and scrap metal added for shrapnel [was hidden]" the Washington Post reports "The truck, with a suicide driver at the wheel, blew up on a street crowded on both sides with shops and market stalls, leaving a crater the size of a wading pool in the pavement." The bomb was powerful enough to propel some bodies onto the roofs of houses. The bomb destroyed 22 stalls and sent up a grey plume of smoke. Fire shot out of the windows of some cars (14 cars were destroyed).A group calling themselves The Supporters of the Sunni People claimed responsibility for the attack. The group accused Shi'ite's of "killing Sunnis and throwing their bodies in the streets after badly torturing them. It added that Sunni women under detention were being raped by Shiites." CBS news reports.The attack was the deadliest to come to Iraq since the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. After the attack, and while firefighters were putting out the fire, an angry mob gathered around the wreckage and shouted allegiance to radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, while denouncing the Sunni people and the new Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his government.

21 September 2013 Iraq attacks

On 21 September 2013, a series of car and suicide bombings struck the central and northern regions of Iraq, with the largest attack targeting a funeral in Sadr City, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad. The attacks left at least 115 dead and more than 200 others injured.

23 November 2006 Sadr City bombings

The 2006 Sadr City bombings were a series of car bombs and mortar attacks in Iraq that occurred on 23 November at 15:10 Baghdad time (12:10 Greenwich Mean Time) and ended at 15:55 (12:55 UTC). Six car bombs and two mortar rounds were used in the attack on the Shia slum in Sadr City.

2 November 2010 Baghdad bombings

The 2 November 2010 Baghdad attacks were a series of bomb attacks in Baghdad, Iraq that killed more than 110 people.At least 17 explosions occurred in the attacks, 48 hours after the 2010 Baghdad church massacre

where 58 people were killed by a suicide bomber in a Baghdad church. Al-Qaeda has been suggested to be behind the violence. It is estimated that seventeen coordinated car bombs exploded. More than 250 people have been killed in Iraq in the last six days.

The political background is the race between Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia Islamist, and former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia supported by Iraq's Sunnis. Iyad Allawi's political group won two more parliamentary seats than the Prime Minister's.

There were explosions near east Baghdad Sadr City, where 15 people died and 23 wounded. In west Baghdad 54 people died. There were twenty one blasts in all, eleven of them were car blasts.In western Baghdad the casualties and injured people took to the Yarmuk Hospital. Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate said on Friday it was behind car bombings against Shias in Baghdad this week that killed 64 people, saying they were revenge for "insults" and threatening more attacks. In a statement on the Al-Hanein jihadi website, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) said Tuesday's attacks were to avenge "insults" against Aisha, the wife of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

August 2015 Baghdad bombing

The 2015 Baghdad market truck bombing was a truck bomb attack on 13 August 2015, targeting a Baghdad food market in Sadr City, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood.

Baghdad Governorate

Baghdad Governorate (Arabic: محافظة بغداد‎ Muḥāfaẓät Baġdād), also known as the Baghdad Province, is the capital governorate of Iraq. It includes the capital Baghdad as well as the surrounding metropolitan area. The governorate is the smallest of the 18 provinces of Iraq but the most populous.

Battle of Al Kut

The Battle of Al Kut was a coordinated Iraqi uprising, launched near the beginning of the Iraq War by Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

In April 2004, followers of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr launched a well-coordinated uprising across southern Iraq. While Western media focused on events in Sadr City, Najaf, and Karbala, violence occurred elsewhere as well. A Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) source forwarded the following after-action report regarding violence in the town of Al-Kut, the capital of the Wassit Governorate and home to the Ukrainian contingent. After withdrawal of Ukrainian forces and contractors, the CPA Compound was recaptured and secured by 2/6 Inf. The unit had clashed with Sadr's Army in Najaf days before and convoyed over 200 km to retake the city from the insurgents.

The unclassified report, written by a coalition security contractor, highlights dysfunction between regional coalition offices and the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters in Baghdad, as well as tension between diplomats and security officers. The summary faulted a British diplomat who had "toned down" reports of Islamist activity so as not to alarm superiors in Baghdad. The report gave a minute-by-minute update of the battle.

Iraq spring fighting of 2008

The Iraq Spring Fighting of 2008 (March – May 2008) was a series of clashes between the Mahdi Army and the Iraqi Army supported by coalition forces, in southern Iraq and Baghdad, that began with an Iraqi offensive in Basra. The fighting followed a lull in the Civil war in Iraq and was the most serious crisis since October 2007.

June 2009 Baghdad bombing

The 24 June 2009 Baghdad bombing was one of the bombings in Iraq and a bombing that occurred in the Muraidi Market of the Sadr City area of Baghdad, Iraq. At least 69 people were killed and 150 others injured. An official said that the explosion was caused by a bomb hidden underneath a motorised vegetable cart in the market, as reported by the BBC and CNN. As reported by The New York Times, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said that it was caused by a bomb attached to a motorcycle. Shrapnel from the bomb injured people 600 metres (660 yd) away from the explosion. Civilians tried to help the injured following the explosion, until security forces forced them back to allow emergency services to enter the market. The Iraqi Army, the Iraqi government, the American military and Iraqi political parties were held responsible for the bombing by the witnesses and relatives of the wounded. Politicians affiliated with Muqtada al-Sadr accused the 11th Brigade of the Iraqi Army, which is responsible for Sadr City, for the attack. These politicians also said that the American military was partly to blame, because they brought the 11th Brigade to the neighbourhood.

October 2011 Baghdad bombings

The October 2011 Baghdad bombings were a series of bombing attacks that hit the capital of Iraq between the 7 and the 13 of October 2011. The first attacks took place on the 7 October when a magnetic bomb and two IED blasts killed 7 and injured 39 in the north and south districts of Baghdad. On the 10 October three explosions hit the mainly Shia neighborhood of Washash, killing ten and injuring 18 more. Two days later a string of bombings and shootings took place all across the city - at least two police stations in the northwestern and central districts were attacked by suicide car bombers, killing 22 (including 13 policemen) and leaving at least 55 wounded. In total at least 29 people died on this day and 86 were injured. On the next evening four powerful roadside bombs exploded next to a local market and a crowded coffeeshop in the Sadr City district, killing 18 and injuring 47.

Peace Companies

The Peace Companies (Arabic: سرايا السلام‎, translit. Sarāyā al-Salām), frequently mistranslated as Peace Brigades in US media, are an Iraqi armed group linked to Iraq's Shia community. They are a 2014 revival of the Mahdi Army (JAM; جيش المهدي Jaish al-Mahdī) that was created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003 and disbanded in 2008.

The Mahdi Army rose to international prominence on April 18, 2004, when it spearheaded the first major armed confrontation against the US forces in Iraq from the Shia community. This concerned an uprising that followed the ban of al-Sadr's newspaper and his subsequent attempted arrest, lasting until a truce on June 6. The truce was followed by moves to disband the group and transform al-Sadr's movement into a political party to take part in the 2005 elections; Muqtada al-Sadr ordered fighters of the Mahdi army to cease fire unless attacked first. The truce broke down in August 2004 after provocative actions by the Mahdi Army, with new hostilities erupting. The group was disbanded in 2008, following a crackdown by Iraqi security forces.

At its height, the Mahdi Army's popularity was strong enough to influence local government, the police, and cooperation with Sunni Iraqis and their supporters. The group was popular among Iraqi police forces. The National Independent Cadres and Elites party that ran in the 2005 Iraqi election was closely linked with the army. The Mahdi Army were accused of operating death squads.The group was armed with various light weapons, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Many of the IEDs used during attacks on Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces used infra-red sensors as triggers, a technique that was used widely by the IRA in Northern Ireland in the early-to-mid-1990s.The group was re-mobilized in 2014 in order to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and was still active as of 2016. It participated in the recapture of Jurf Al Nasr and the Second Battle of Tikrit.

Promised Day Brigade

The Promised Day Brigade (abbreviated PDB; Arabic: لواء اليوم الموعود Liwāʾ al-Yawm al-Mawʿūd), originally called the Muqawimun (Arabic: المقاومون al-Muqāwimūn; "Resisters") was a Shi'a organization and was an insurgent group operating in Iraq during the war. In 2010, it was one of the largest and most powerful of what the US military call "Special Groups" in Iraq. The group was created as successor to Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which was Iraq's largest Shi'a militia until its disbanding in 2008, he also called on other Special Groups to join the brigade. Sadr had earlier already talked about the creation of a smaller guerrilla unit which would continue the Mahdi Army's armed activities but for the first time gave the organisation a name in November 2008 when he declared the creation of the Promised Day Brigade. Its activities have particularly increased since May 2009. The group's name is in reference to an alternate term for the Islamic Day of Judgment. The group is alleged to receive Iranian support. A crackdown against the group, in the end 2009, led to the arrest of 18 of its members including several commanders. On November 29, 2009, the group's Basra leader was arrested in al-Amarah.In October 2009, the Promised Day Brigade fought a battle with rival Special Group Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq for influence in Sadr City. The Promised Day Brigade reportedly won the battle and even managed to destroy the house of Abdul Hadi al-Darraji, a senior Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq leader. Since then, the PDB has been the most powerful Special Group in the ex-Mahdi Army stronghold of Sadr City and has increased its activity there.On July 21, 2010, General Ray Odierno said Iran supports three Shiite groups in Iraq that had attempted to attack US bases: US officials believe that of these three groups, the Promised Day Brigades poses the greatest threat to Iraq's long-term security.

the Promised Day Brigades

Ketaib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades)

Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous)

Sadr City terrorist attacks

In the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent sectarian violence a number of terrorist attacks have targeted the Sadr City district of Baghdad.

These include but are not limited to

1 July 2006 Sadr City bombing

23 November 2006 Sadr City bombings

24 June 2009 Baghdad bombing

2015 Baghdad market truck bomb

Siege of Sadr City

The Siege of Sadr City was a blockade of the Shi'a district of northeastern Baghdad carried out by U.S. and Iraqi government forces in an attempt to destroy the main power base of the insurgent Mahdi Army in Baghdad. The siege began on 4 April 2004 – later dubbed "Black Sunday" – with an uprising against the Coalition Provisional Authority following the government banning of a newspaper published by Muqtada Al-Sadr's Sadrist Movement. The most intense periods of fighting in Sadr City occurred during the first uprising in April 2004, the second in August the same year, during the sectarian conflict that gripped Baghdad in late 2006, during the Iraq War troop surge of 2007, and during the spring fighting of 2008.

Suaad Allami

Suaad Allami is a women's rights activist. Her mother encouraged her to have an education, although she herself was illiterate. Allami became a women's rights lawyer. She founded the NGO "Women for Progress" in 2007, and as of 2011 she directs the Women for Progress Center. "Women for Progress" provides many services including legislative advocacy, vocational training, domestic violence counseling, medical exams, literacy education, child care, and exercise opportunities.Allami also founded the Sadr City Women's Center; she herself was born in Sadr.She received a 2009 International Women of Courage Award. To celebrate her Global Vital Voices Award win, Suaad agreed to an interview with Nina magazine which resulted in a Vital Voice of Leadership story and was widely shared and publicised.

The Long Road Home (miniseries)

The Long Road Home is an American drama miniseries created by Mikko Alanne. It is based on the 2007 book The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family by Martha Raddatz, which tells the story of a U.S. Army unit trapped in during the first day of the Siege of Sadr City in 2004. The series stars Michael Kelly, Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Noel Fisher, Jon Beavers, E. J. Bonilla, Jorge Diaz, Ian Quinlan, Darius Homayoun and Patrick Schwarzenegger. The miniseries premiered on National Geographic on November 7, 2017.

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