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  • Battle Over Sadr City Defines Apache Helicopter Regiment’s Tour in Iraq

    07/08/2008 7:32:24 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 16 replies · 422+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/8/2008 | Bill Murray
    Click to view images from Taji. Photos by Bill Murray. TAJI, IRAQ: There are few pictures of a US Army Tactical Operations Centers, and once inside you realize why. Everything within the walls of a TOC in Iraq -- and there are dozens at the company, battalion and brigade levels -- is more or less classified. Screen after screen of live Unmanned Aerial Vehicle camera footage, high-definition video from floating balloons tethered high above each forward-operating base, high-powered FM radios connected with ground troops, three tiers of desks with sergeants and captains using internal message and email systems to...
  • Iraqi forces pursue Mahdi Army in Baghdad

    07/07/2008 5:25:16 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 8 replies · 237+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/6/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Clashes broke out in the Sadr City district in northeastern Baghdad after Iraqi forces detained a senior Sadrist leader, an Iraqi news outlet reported. Iraqi soldiers and police cordoned several neighborhoods in the Mahdi Army stronghold to contain the fighting that occurred after security forces detained Abbas Abdul Aal, who is a "senior Sadrist leader," Voices of Iraq reported. Aal's nephew was also detailed. "Security forces closed all of the city's outlets and prevented the movement of traffic and pedestrians," an eyewitness told the Iraqi newspaper. The move in Sadr comes one day after Iraqi soldiers closed the Sadrist office...
  • Analysis: Sadr movement, Mahdi Army shrink under pressure

    07/03/2008 9:31:36 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 6 replies · 142+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/3/2008 | Omar Fadhil
    Muqtada al Sadr. Click to view. Over the space of several days in early June, Muqtada al Sadr has issued two consequential orders that will affect the future of his movement and that of Iraq. Sadr has ordered the reorganization of his infamous Mahdi Army and has forbidden the Sadrist movement from participating in the upcoming provincial elections. Sadr’s first declaration addressed the organization and operations of the Mahdi Army, the military arm of the Sadrist movement. Sadr ordered his militiamen to halt the fighting and announced that a small, specialized unit will have the exclusive right to fight...
  • Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah [Oops!]

    07/02/2008 4:24:41 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 14 replies · 128+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/2/2008 | Bill Roggio
    A tip led soldiers from the 39th Iraqi Army Brigade to a large cache of munitions and weapons that included 217 rocket-propelled grenades, 354 blocks of C-4, and more than 40 explosively formed projectiles in the Al Husayn district of Amarah, June 29. (US Army photo) Iraqi forces detained four senior Sadrists members of the Maysan provincial council on Wednesday in the latest series of aids targeting senior Sadrist leaders in the former Mahdi Army bastion of Maysan province. Meanwhile, Iraqi special forces uncovered a Mahdi Army headquarters and several large weapons caches in the provincial capital. Police and...
  • One hundred insurgents detained in Baghdad during past week

    06/23/2008 7:16:13 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 14 replies · 89+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/23/2008 | Bill Murray
    BAGHDAD, IRAQ: Iraqi and Coalition forces in and around Baghdad captured more than 100 insurgents and defused 147 improved explosive devices during the past week as part of continued security operations, according to Iraqi and Coalition spokesmen. One insurgent was killed, six kidnap victims liberated and about 700 kilograms of TNT discovered during security sweeps in the past seven days, said Iraqi Army spokesman Major General Qassim Atta during a press conference in Baghdad today. The current security plan, called Fardh al-Qanoon, or `Enforcing the Law,’ has been in place since early 2007, when U.S. planners began implementing a U.S....
  • Operations target Mahdi Army in South

    06/22/2008 2:26:43 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 14 replies · 158+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/22/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi security forces continue to target the Sadrist movement and the Mahdi Army in the southern provinces of Maysan, Dhi Qhar, and Wasit over the weekend. More than 113 Mahdi Army fighters and Sadrists were detained since Friday, including a senior Sadrist leader in the city of Al Kut. The arrests come as a major operation was launched in the former Mahdi Army stronghold in Maysan province. On Saturday, Iraqi forces detained Sayyid Tahseen, a senior member of Muqtada al Sadr's political movement, in Al Kut in Wasit province. Iraqi police described Tahseen as "one of the most important individual...
  • Three senior Mahdi Army commanders captured in Baghdad, Hillah

    06/21/2008 6:00:17 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 17 replies · 182+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/21/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a senior Mahdi Army commander with "close ties" to Muqtada al Sadr's office in Najaf on June 19. Two other senior Mahdi Army commanders in Baghdad and Hillah were captured on June 20 and 21. The Mahdi Army commander captured by Iraqi special forces is thought to be "an influential advisor in west Baghdad" with close ties to the Office of the [Martyr] Sadr in Najaf," Multinational Forces Iraq reported. The commander also is able to appoint Mahdi Army officers into command positions. The US military would not release the identity of the leader as...
  • Iraqi security forces ramp up for Maysan operation [Heading to Berlin!]

    06/17/2008 11:57:11 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 8 replies · 128+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/17/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi troops replace border guards. Local police forces are raised. Maliki gives deadline for Mahdi Army to disarm. Sadrists fear being targeted. The Iraqi government and military continue to shape the battlefield for the confrontation with the Mahdi Army in Maysan province. Starting late last week, Iraqi security forces started the operation by sealing off the entrances and exits to the province, deploying additional forces from Baghdad and Basrah, warning the population, starting patrols in Amarah, and relieving the provincial chief of police. Since then, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has ordered all wanted Mahdi Army fighters to turn themselves...
  • Sadrist movement withdraws from political process [Checkmate!]

    06/15/2008 12:10:10 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 35 replies · 150+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/15/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Muqtada al Sadr. Muqtada al Sadr has ordered the Sadrist political movement to boycott the upcoming provincial elections. Sadr's order comes one day after his order to disband the Mahdi Army as a fighting force and the creations of a small, armed wing to attack Coalition forces exclusively. Sadrist aides claim Sadr rejects the election process and fears being associated with the occupation. "Sayyid Muqtada does not believe in elections or in the coming provincial governments as long as the occupation forces are here," Salah al Obaidi, a senior aide to Sadr, told The Washington Post. "We don't want...
  • Iraqi police detain three Special Groups operatives behind 2007 Karbala attack

    06/11/2008 3:52:30 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 12 replies · 182+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 06/11/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi police have captured three Iranian-backed Special Groups operatives behind the kidnapping and murder of five US soldiers at the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center in January 2007. Meanwhile, US troops captured another Special Groups leader in the Al Kut region, The Iraqi police captured the three "key criminals" behind the 2007 Karbala attack in Musayyib, just south of Baghdad, on June 5. The three Special Groups operatives are "suspected of trafficking and emplacing explosively formed projectiles." Explosively formed projectiles are the signature weapon of Shia terrorists with links to Iran. The US military immediately suspected Iran's Qods Force, the...
  • Sadr's Special Groups

    06/10/2008 5:37:39 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 2 replies · 68+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/10/2008 | LWJ Editors
    Sadr returns to Iraq for a short period of time in May 2007 to deliver a sermon in Kufa. [AP Photo] Click to view. Written by Bill Roggio and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross for The Daily Standard. IN THE PAST MONTH, Iraqi and coalition forces have succeeded in their fight against the Mahdi Army's "special groups." On May 3, the U.S. military destroyed a special groups command center in Sadr City, killing a wanted leader in the attack. On May 25, Iraqi special operations forces captured a mid-level special groups leader in the al-Shuala area of Baghdad. And on May 31,...
  • Iraqi Police Clean House

    06/02/2008 10:57:42 AM PDT · by Dawnsblood · 1 replies · 43+ views
    Strategy Page ^ | 5/31/08
    So far this year, the Iraqi police force has lost about 10,000 officers. Some 80 percent of those were people fired for corruption or incompetence. The rest were combat casualties, as the police are heavily involved in operations against the Shia Mahdi Army militia, and al Qaeda. Some 90 percent of the losses are from the anti-militia operations. That's because many police units had been infiltrated by Mahdi Army members (who joined for the paycheck, and to support the Mahdi Army as opportunities presented themselves.) The Mahdi Army also had the support of a large block of parliament members, as...
  • Iraqi Army interdicting Iranian operations in the South [Mop 'em up!]

    06/01/2008 10:55:35 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 15 replies · 157+ views
    The :Long War Journal ^ | 6/1/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi and Coalition forces press operations against the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and Basrah despite the cease-fire signed with the Mahdi Army in Sadr City. The Iraqi Army has expanded its operations in Basrah province to the east just along the Iranian border, while eleven Mahdi Army fighters have been captured during operations in Baghdad over the past 24 hours. Iraqi soldiers and police, backed by US and British advisers, have expanded Operation Knights’ Assault to the eastern town of Abu Al Khasib, a region east of Basrah on the Iranian border. A brigade from the 1st Iraqi Army Division,...
  • Iraqi Special Forces capture Special Groups commander in Baghdad

    05/27/2008 5:23:50 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 24 replies · 151+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/27/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Soldiers from Troop B, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, maneuver down a path while receiving heavy indirect fire and rocket-propelled grenade fire just on the outskirts of Shula May 16. (US Army photo / Sergeant James Hunter) Iraqi Special Operations Forces have captured a senior Mahdi Army Special Groups leader in the Shula neighborhood in the Ghazaliyah district in northwestern Baghdad. The Shula neighborhood has been a target of US and Iraqi forces over the past several weeks as the fighting in Sadr City has largely subsided. The Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured what Multinational Forces Iraq called a...
  • Michael Yon on Iraq: “The progress is unbelievable”

    05/22/2008 11:09:47 AM PDT · by Dawnsblood · 22 replies · 70+ views
    Hot Air ^ | 5/22/08 | Allahpundit
    “Why aren’t we hearing about this in the news?” asks Alisyn Camerota. Well, increasingly we are, most notably in the pages of the righty blogosphere’s favorite whipping boy. CNN traditionally has been good about reporting gains too, including having Yon himself on to explain them. As I write this, this story is beaming out to AP affiliates worldwide. The problem with the coverage is that it takes spectacular gains, like the Iraqi army rolling onto Mookie’s home turf in Sadr City, to break through the media narrative while even minor setbacks, which fit the narrative, are easily assimilated and thus...
  • US military killed Mahdi Army commander Arkan Hasnawi in May 3 strike [Sniff]

    05/21/2008 2:02:49 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 21 replies · 53+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/21/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Arkan Hasnawi. Click the image to view wanted the Mahdi Army leaders in Baghdad. The US military killed a senior member of the Mahdi Army, according US and Mahdi Army sources. Arkan Hasnawi, a senior lieutenant of the Mahdi Army commander in Sadr City, was killed in a guided rocket strike in Sadr City on March 3. The news of Hasnawi's death comes as details emerge on the senior leadership of the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and the blurring of the lines between Sadr's militia and the Special Groups. Hasnawi was among several senior Mahdi Army leaders killed or...
  • US Special Forces fighting inside Sadr City

    05/09/2008 7:53:04 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 18 replies · 297+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/9/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Soldiers from Company A, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division set concrete barriers in place in the surroundings of the southern portion of the Sadr City district of Baghdad May 3. (US Army photo/Specialist Joseph Rivera Rebolledo) The battle for Sadr City continues as US and Iraqi forces continue to erect the concrete security barrier on Qods Street, the main thoroughfare that divides the southern third of Sadr City from the northern portion. US Special Operations Forces teams have entered the fray, and the specialized teams are fighting inside the Mahdi Army bastion for...
  • 3-89 Cavalry conducts operations targeting Mahdi Special Groups in northern Rusafa

    05/06/2008 8:43:07 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 5 replies · 122+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/6/2008 | Bill Ardolino
    <p>Click to view slideshow of operations in the Rusafa district, Baghdad. Photos by Bill Ardolino.</p> <p>The US soldiers and Iraqi police living at Joint Security Station Al Qanat at the Northeastern edge of Baghdad’s Rusafa district have “a front row seat” to the fight taking place in Sadr City. As US and Iraqi Army forces clash with the Mahdi Army, hissing RPGs and small arms fire periodically crackle during the day and are punctuated by occasional orange explosions and red tracers streaking out of the Sadr City skyline at night. Two to four Apache attack helicopters constantly prowl the airspace over the battlefield, randomly popping flares as they search for targets. The characteristic whoosh and boom of a hellfire missile sounds when they find one. But although JSS al Qanat is only 200 meters from the Route Pluto, the main thoroughfare that marks the border to Sadr City, the fighting has not significantly spilled over into the northern part of the Rusafa District.</p>
  • GMLRS strike knocks out Special Groups command center in Sadr City [Bip!]

    05/03/2008 2:28:14 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 11 replies · 192+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/3/2008 | Bill Roggio
    A member of the Iraqi national police creates an inventory of illegal weapons confiscated by Iraqi national police in the Sadr City District of Baghdad, Iraq, as he turns them over to members of the 42nd brigade, 11th Iraqi army division, at Combat Patrol Base Comanche on April 19. (US Air Force photo/Technical Sergean Adrian Cadiz) US and Iraqi forces continue to target the Mahdi Army as an Iraqi delegation visited Iran to confront the country over its support of Shia militias battling the government. The US military conducted a guided rocket attack on a Special Groups headquarters adjacent...
  • Iraqis begin to "despise" the Mahdi Army in Baghdad's Rusafa district [Turn out the lights...]

    05/03/2008 9:46:43 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 10 replies · 122+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/3/2008 | Bill Ardolino
    2nd Lieutenant Mike Hebert leads White Platoon of the Blackfoot Troop, 3-89 Cavalry on a presence patrol of a difficult neighborhood in southern Rusafa District, Baghdad. Photo by Bill Ardolino. BAGHDAD, IRAQ: The nighttime walk through a difficult neighborhood in Southern Rusafa was uneventful; a careful “presence patrol” designed to show local citizens American forces and gauge public opinion. The jumbled maze of brightly-lit ramshackle shops and pitch-black back alleys was one of the less secure parts of the district. Southern Rusafa is “a neighborhood with the most potential to become violent because of the JAM (Mahdi Army) special...