Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Iraq: On Ground Updates - May 21, 2008

On Ground Updates
, May 21, 2008
* reports...
Some 10,000 Iraqi troops fanned out in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Tuesday in an attempt to establish government control in the Shiite militia enclave for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s ouster. Success relies on whether a truce holds with fighters loyal to anti-US Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The large force in tanks and Humvees and on foot met no resistance from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia as it rolled into the sprawling district. The Iraqi soldiers and police passed burned out shops and buildings pockmarked with bullet holes — signs of years of clashes — but many stores were open, and some residents came out to greet them. Some Mahdi Army fighters passed out copies of the Holy Quran to the soldiers as a sign of goodwill... It was a stark contrast to a government offensive against Shiite militias in the southern city of Basra launched in late March. That assault sparked a wave of Mahdi Army violence across the south and in Sadr City that was only eased by cease-fire deals in mid-April...

Read the full report HERE
* has this take...
Iraqi troops test truce in cleric stronghold

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