Roughly 10,000 Iraqi troops peacefully marched deep into Sadr City today, the Baghdad ghetto that’s long been a stronghold for Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The incursion was part of a deal negotiated with Sadr last week, which allowed for inspections so long as the US wasn't involved. "It's like a normal day here," said one resident.
US troops were involved only peripherally today, standing by in case they were needed, a military spokesman said. Until the truce, Sadr City had been a major battlefield between Iraqi forces and the Mahdi Army since early April. Before that, the government largely left the militia alone.