August 18, 2004


U.S. Forces Kill 50 Sadr Militia in Baghdad Suburb (Reuters, 8/18/04)

U.S. forces killed more than 50 Shi'ite militiamen on Wednesday in a significant advance into a Baghdad suburb that is a powerbase for radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the military said.

The forces, backed by tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, advanced some 1.5 miles into Sadr City, a slum of two million mainly Shi'ite inhabitants, meeting sporadic resistance.

A U.S. officer said soldiers killed "slightly over" 50 Iraqis identified as firing upon the advancing forces. There was no immediate independent confirmation of the death toll.

"This is the first time (Sadr's) Mehdi militia has had to fight across the entire width of Sadr City. So it's got to throw them off balance," Lieutenant-Colonel Lopez Carter told a pool reporter with the advancing force.

"We've never moved in and stayed like this before," Captain Jon Meredith, 28, commander of a tank company, said. "I think he (Sadr) realizes we're not going to leave this time until it's over with. As far as whether they'll really stop fighting, we'll see."

He's using that ultra-savvy trick the Japanese used in WWII where you make monkeys of the Americans by refusing to surrender.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 18, 2004 8:24 PM

It'll be interesting to see, come Monday, whether he's dead and whether we've stopped tolerating the intolerable in Darfur.

Oh, yeah, where's that Iranian revolution we've been promised?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 18, 2004 11:31 PM

Monday? Are you planning an anyeurism?

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2004 11:41 PM

I'd like to know what they were on that led them to call Sadr City a "suburb" of Baghdad.

According to all the Iraqi bloggers (and my Assyrian sister-in-law), Sadr City is the biggest and worst slum in all Iraq.

Posted by: Ken at August 19, 2004 12:47 PM

I live from week to week, unlike the Darfurians.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 19, 2004 1:45 PM

Yes, and they'll be there long after you're gone, as will the democratic Shi'a of Iran and Iraq.

Posted by: oj at August 19, 2004 1:49 PM