The battle for Sadr City

Dandelion Salad

by Eric Ruder
May 21, 2008

Out of view of the U.S. media, American forces have been continuing an escalation in violence in Iraq that is claiming more lives.

Fighting that broke out first in Basra in southern Iraq in April, between the Mahdi Army of Shia cleric Moktada al-Sadr and the Iraqi government backed up by U.S. forces, has spread elsewhere around the country–in particular, to the massive Sadr City neighborhood on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Michael Schwartz is the author of a forthcoming book War Without End: The Iraq Debacle in Context, to be published later this year by Haymarket Books. He talked to Eric Ruder about how to make sense of the current situation in Iraq.

ACCORDING TO the Pentagon, last year’s surge produced a period of relative calm in Iraq that has now come to an end. What’s the reason for the recent escalation of U.S. operations?

THE SURGE ended last summer, and the U.S. then began a new strategy of making alliances and tacit or explicit ceasefires with the Sunni insurgents on one side and the Mahdi Army on the other.


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  1. Pingback: Iraq: Mass detentions in Mosul as troops move into Sadr City « Dandelion Salad

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