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Mission 10 - Satellite Photo
Samarra Stryker Brigade

An urban environment within the Sunni Triangle, Samarra is located 60 miles north of Baghdad. Tanks and armored vehicles can be utilized in Samarra, but there is little room for maneuvering in the tight roads and abundant alleyways in the city center. Because of mobility limitations in cities like Samarra, Strykers are an ideal mode of protected transportation.

With a population of approximately 300,000, Samarra is considered a modest, regional trade center, a far cry from its 9th century heyday when it was the capital of the Muslim world for 56 years. More than 70 percent of the city’s men ages 18-35 are unemployed.

Samarra has played a central role in Iraqi resistance during the course of the war. In November 2003, US forces escorting a currency exchange convoy fought back against an ambush, killing 54 insurgents in a spectacular gunbattle. Local police manning checkpoints wear masks for fear of being identified, and Apache helicopter gunships circle almost continuously a few hundred feet above the mud-brick houses of the town.