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Sadr City is a suburb district of Baghdad, Iraq with over one-million residents. Built in 1959, the public housing projects were neglected by Saddam Hussein. The heavily populated district became the home of the Baghdad’s urban poor living in appalling conditions.
Starting in 2003, Sadr City became one of the most dangerous places for U.S. military personnel in Baghdad – if not across the entire country. U.S. forces were attack daily by insurgent forces equipped with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) smuggled from Iran, sniper rifles, and small arms. It wasn’t until the 2007 surge that the U.S. forces were able to amass focused on imposing order. However, fierce fighting ensued until mid-May 2008.
Sadr City played strategic importance to U.S. forces, as rockets fired from Sadr City easy reached Baghdad’s Green Zone – a fortified district in central Baghdad that is the governmental center and heavily populated by U.S. personnel working to rebuild Iraq’s government and infrastructure.