Iraqi Army Rolls Into Sadr City

No bloodshed so far in peaceful takeover
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 9:08 AM CDT
Iraqi soldiers stand guard by a wall built recently by U.S. forces in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, May 20, 2004.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – 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.