Operation Together Forward moves into several Baghdad neighborhoods over the past week
Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to clear Baghdad’s’ neighborhoods under Operation Together Forward. Over the last week, five neighborhoods have been the focus of the joint effort: Bakriya (East Monsour), Rusafa, Risala and Khadra in the southwestern sector of the city, and, surprisingly, Sadr City, the stronghold of Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Iranian backed cleric.
The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is the tip of the spear for the clearing operations in Baghdad. The 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment of the 172nd Stryker Brigade “has cleared several contentious neighborhoods, including the western suburbs of Shula and Ghazaliya, and the contentious neighborhoods of Adhamiya and Rusafa, since the operation began in August,” according to the Stars & Stripes. The 1/17 has also been in the Shaab neighborhood, directly adjacent to Sadr City. Shaab has just been cleared.
The Strykers of the 1/17 are currently in Sadr City. The Stars & Stripes reports the battalion has received a “hostile reception” upon entering the neighborhood. This consisted of a single gunshot which never came close to hitting a soldier, along with some angry words. Muqtada al-Sadr is said to be searching for a political solution, as he did to end the Mahdi Army uprising in 2004. But the high numbers of slain Baghdadis said to be killed largely by Sadr’s militia make this difficult to believe.
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