In Pictures: Mahdi Army caches seized in Sadr City


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Click to view images of the weapons caches seized in Sadr City from May 20 to June 2.

Since the Iraqi Army moved into Sadr City on May 20 after a negotiated cease-fire with the Sadrist movement, policemen and soldiers have seized 94 weapons caches of varying sizes and composition. Weapons seized include the deadly explosively formed projectile roadside bombs, explosives, mortars, land mines, rockets, anti-aircraft rockets, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, mortar tubes, rocket launchers, AK-47s, sniper rifles, ammunition, and other bomb making materials and weapons. Many of these caches have been found based on tips from residents in Sadr City. Some of the caches were stored in mosques, schools, and hospitals.

Multinational Forces Iraq believes the weapons cache finds have put a significant dent in the Mahdi Army's capabilities inside Sadr City during the past two weeks. Seventy -six EFPs and 175 other roadside bombs have been seized and destroyed. These devices are classified as medium or heavy weapons. Any attempts to resupply these losses in the future may expose the Mahdi Army's smuggling networks, the military said.



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READER COMMENTS: "In Pictures: Mahdi Army caches seized in Sadr City"

Posted by @thepointyend at June 5, 2008 8:29 AM ET:

Wow, first time as the first to post! Great slide show. If that photo on the first slide is any indication, not only is the Jaysh al Madhi harboring Iranian technology, but also brand new Iranian weapons.

It is, of course, the new stuff coming out of Iran that is the biggest threat. As you can see from many of the other photos, much of the explosives from the former IA are unserviceable as originally intended (many mortar rounds are so badly corroded that they can't be used in a mortar tube, etc.), and in many cases, the explosives are unstable (which I like when the enemy are handling them) or no longer pack the same level of explosive punch as they degrade.


New goods from Iran, on the other hand, tend to be extremely reliable and potent.

I just wish we'd see more detailed reporting, like yours Bill, out of the MSM.

Posted by Matthew at June 5, 2008 11:25 AM ET:

Those "unusable" mortar shells could be reserviced/refilled with homemade explosive charges and bundled somehow to create an IED. As I understand it, mortar shells are designed to fragment and would make ideal or near-ideal casings for IEDS.

Good finds all by the Iraqi Army.

Posted by Arthur Wesley at June 5, 2008 11:32 AM ET:

Great point about the sad state of the information war and the US military's lack of response in the latest Covert Radio show, June 4. The US and world media relentlessly discredited them over Abu Ghraib month after month while AQ continued its barbaric acts throughout Iraq almost unreported. The cost of fighting that war is trivial compared with the cost of not fighting it.

Posted by David M at June 5, 2008 1:38 PM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/05/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

Posted by Joseph Sixpack at June 5, 2008 3:22 PM ET:

Regarding the comment about the information war, I think we should consider that the information flow in Iraq is more important than the information flow in the US, in terms of influencing the attitudes of Iraqis. I think that people weigh too heavily what we see on our news, here in the US, and then assume that this is somehow representative of the news in Iraq. While Iraqis do, indeed, see western media, the vast majority of their news is from media in Iraq and pan-Arab media. The Iraqi media is pretty fair, from our standpoint, and the pan-Arab media's anti-US bias has become dramatically less pronounced over the past couple of years. If we were getting trounced in the information war, then I think that we would not be seeing the degree of cooperation that we are experiencing now with the tribes and ISF.

Posted by DJ Elliott at June 5, 2008 3:41 PM ET:

only too true.

Much of what is reported here comes from Iraqi press that is not in the US press...

On the ground, the data is getting out.

Posted by @thepointyend at June 7, 2008 11:03 AM ET:

Matthew - I certainly wasn't trying to suggest that all those corroded mortars, arty shells, etc. aren't dangerous. The vast majority of the IEDs are made from those types of materials. My only point was that neither older munitions nor HME stack up to newer weapons coming out of Iran in terms of reliability and potential lethality. Therefore, every Iranian-sourced cache is an important find.


That said, the vaunted 8th IA Brigade in Mosul uncovered a cache about a week ago that was almost 50 tons of various types of explosives and explosives precursors. So all that older, less potent material is still a significant threat.