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 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.
Sadr City, a sprawling slum in northeastern Baghdad, is home to over 2 million Iraqis and has the largest Shi’a population in Baghdad. Sadr City was built in 1959 and unofficially named for Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, the highly-revered Shi’a cleric who was assassinated by the Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1999. Sadr City presents one of the biggest security challenges for U.S. forces in Baghdad.
The Baghdad belts are residential, agricultural, and industrial areas that encircle the city, and networks of roadways, rivers, and other lines of communication that lie within a twenty or thirty mile radius of Baghdad and connect the capital to the rest of Iraq. Beginning in the north, the belts include the cities of Taji, clockwise to Tarmiyah, Baqubah, Buhriz, Besmayah and Nahrwan, Salman Pak, Mahmudiyah, Sadr al-Yusufiyah, Fallujah, and Karmah.
Baghdad Security Districts:
The southern provinces of Maysan, Dhi Qar, Muthanna, and Basra are populated almost entirely by Shi’a Arabs, in the major cities of Amarah, Nasariyah, and Basra, as well as in the rural marshlands. Of these provinces, Basra is the primary economic hub.
Iran has been actively involved in supporting Shi'a militias and encouraging sectarian violence in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.