The surge of operations that American and Iraqi forces began on June 15 has dramatically improved security in Baghdad and throughout Iraq.
A division-level operation targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq and Sunni insurgents in the Euphrates River Valley southwest of Baghdad during Operation Phantom Strike.
As part of a series of interviews with Brigade and Division-level commanders in Iraq, I spoke today with COL J.B. Burton, commander of the 2nd BCT, 1st Infantry Division (Dagger Brigade) about the clearing of Mansour and the continuing fight against both Sunni and Shi'a extremists as part of Operation Fardh al-Qanoon. You can access the video, Col. Burton's briefing slides, and the transcript below.
The Karkh security district is located in the heart of Baghdad; a significant portion of the district is occupied by the International Zone, also known as the Green Zone, site of the U.S. Embassy. Karkh is perhaps best known for the main road, Haifa Street, which runs from the International Zone northwest to the neighborhood of Sheikh Ma’arouf and Kadhimiyah.
The Mansour security district is located in western Baghdad stretching from the Abu Ghraib area and the airport east to Karkh. Bounded by the Shi’a-dominated Kadhimiyah to the north and Rashid to the south, Mansour is overwhelmingly Sunni, with a few mixed areas remaining in Yarmouk in the southeast.
The Kadhimiyah security district is located in northwest Baghdad. Its eastern neighborhoods line the west bank of the Tigris River. Named after the shrine of the seventh Shi'a Imam, Musa al-Kazimi, the district is principally inhabited by Shi'a Muslims. Its main neighborhoods include Shula, Huriya, Zahra, Kadhimiyah, Salaam, Fajr, and Atifiya. Although portions of Kadhimiyah were inhabited by Sunnis prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, widespread sectarian violence during 2006 and 2007 forced many of them out.
The Rusafa security district is situated on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in the heart of the city. Rusafa neighbors the Adhamiyah district to the north, and the districts of Karadah and 9 Nissan to the south and southeast. Rusafa also neighbors Sadr City along its northeastern border, and this proximity has given rise to a strong influence of Shi’a militias.
The Karadah security district is located in central Baghdad, on the southeastern bank of the Tigris River. To the north and northeast, Karadah neighbors the districts of Rusafa and 9 Nissan, respectively. Opposite the Tigris, the Karadah peninsula neighbors the Karkh district to the north and the Rasheed district to the south.