Iraqi Security Forces
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.
A division-level operation to clear the Diyala River Valley, northeast of Baqubah, during Operation Phantom Strike.
A Corps offensive to prevent al Qaeda, Sunni, and Shi’a insurgent elements from reconstituting their forces in Baghdad, its belts, or elsewhere.
An operation to secure the population of Baghdad by targeting al Qaeda, Sunni insurgent, and Shi'a extremist elements.
The follow-on operation to Together Forward I aimed at improving Baghdad’s security conditions.
The southwestern belt runs from Fallujah down the Euphrates River corridor, through Sadr al-Yusufiyah, Yusufiyah, east to Mahmudiyah and south to Iskandariyah.
The southeastern belt wraps around the capital in an arc running from Nahrawan east of Baghdad, south through Jisr Diyala down to Salman Pak, and east through Arab Jabour and Hawr Rajab to the city of Mahmudiyah. Most of the area is rural farmland, crisscrossed by irrigation canals that limit mobility and facilitate the creation of insurgent refuges.
The northeastern belt runs from the Tarmiyah area in the Tigris River Valley, east through Khalis and Baqubah and south to Nahrawan east of Baghdad. It controls the road networks that link Baghdad with the eastern shore of the Tigris River Valley, as well the Diyala River Valley and a key border crossing with Iran. Consequently, both al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Jaysh al-Mahdi, and associated Iranian-backed Special Groups have competed to control the area.