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Mission 16 - Chronology
Sadr City

November 9, 2003
Mohannad Gazi al-Kaabi, the US-appointed Mayor of Sadr City, engages US forces in an altercation. al-Kaabi is upset that his car is prevented from entering the Sadr City council compound, a general rule established to prevent car bombings. Warning shots are fired; al-Kaabi grabs for a soldierís weapon and is shot in the leg. He bleeds to death a short time later.

March 28, 2004
US authorities order the closure of al-Hawza newspaper, published by Muqtada al-Sadr, alleging it is a terrorist tool used to incite violence against US troops.

April 4
In their first large-scale violent confrontation with the coalition, thousands of Sadr followers carrying automatic rifles storm the streets of several cities. The rebels overtake police stations and government security in Kufa, and fire rocket-propelled grenades at intervening troops

April 5
Declaring that peaceful protests are fruitless, Muqtada al-Sadr preaches to his followers the need to "terrorize" their enemy.

Officials confirm a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Muqtada al-Sadr after his followers launched coordinated anti-American uprisings in several cities over the weekend

April 7
Troops battle Shiite militias in Iraqi cities from Kirkuk to Basra in the most widespread fighting since the fall of Saddam Hussein a year earlier.

May 8
Al-Sadr loyalists attack British troops in Basra, assaulted the governorís office and fired RPGs at coalition headquarters. The attacks come a day after a cleric, the Basra representative of Muqtada al-Sadr, told worshippers there were cash rewards for the killing or capture of British or US troops. Female soldiers could be kept as slaves.

May 10
In Karbala, US troops trade gunfire with Sadr loyalists. Heavy weekend fighting also results in the destruction of Sadrís headquarters in Sadr City, where 35 Iraqis die in combat.

May 14
In one of two attacks today, Sadr's militia assault coalition and Iraqi police forces with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire near the al-Mukaim mosque and shrine complex. Two of Sadrís militia are dead.

May 20
A deal announced by Shiite leaders proposes an end to fighting in the Najaf and Kufa regions. The coalition agreed to suspend offensive operations, but would continue "security patrols," some of which the militias consider provocative.

May 21
Nine mortar shells explode early on the main US camp in the Najaf area. US soldiers arrest four suspected militiamen, who claim they are unaware of the order to stop attacks.

In Najaf, sporadic gunfire could be heard during the night. Al-Sadr militiamen, with bandoliers of ammunition around their necks and extra magazines of ammunition strapped to their belts, roamed the streets looking for what they said were US snipers.

The U.S. command in Baghdad confirmed two soldiers were wounded when Shiite gunmen fired on their Humvee on a Najaf street.

May 22-23
Small teams of insurgents fire on coalition forces from rooftops and fighting positions with RPGs. Troops respond, killing 26-35 attackers and confiscating mortars and an anti-aircraft gun.

Later, coalition forces cordoned off the Shalah Mosque. Iraqi counterterrorism forces entered and secured the building, where ten Muqtada militants are arrested and a weapons cache is secured.

Thirty anti-coalition personnel fire small-arms at an Iraqi police station. Coalition forces return fire. Two RPGs exploded in the vicinity of the quick-reaction force dispatched to assist, damaging a nearby vehicle.

In the evening, anti-coalition forces attack a coalition patrol with RPG and small-arms fire.


Sadr City

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