Sadr's Shiite Jihadists Who Killed US Soldiers Dominate Iraqi Election


The results, posted online successively, also showed the bloc of Iraq's populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr maintaining the most seats in parliament, leading in several of Iraq's 18 provinces, including the capital Baghdad. Al-Sadr, a maverick leader remembered for leading an insurgency against U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion, appeared to have increased his movement's seats in the 329-member parliament from 54 in 2018 to more than 70.

Sadr's Jihadists were responsible for, among other things, Black Sunday.

It was April 4th, 2004, and troops from the 1st Cavalry, out of Fort Hood, Texas had just arrived in Iraq. They had been handed a routine mission, escorting Iraqi sewage trucks through a Baghdad suburb, and they were done for the day, headed back to base. Then the streets emptied, machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades rained down. Eight Americans died in the ambush that day, and 65 were wounded. For the U.S. military, it marked what was, at the time, the worst single day in terms of casualties since Vietnam.

That's only a small part of the U.S. casualties attributed to Sadr's Jihadists. But Iraq oscillates between Shiite and Sunni Jihadis. And Sadr's star continues to rise.

In 2004, Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army fought ferociously against the U.S. in Iraq. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers lost their lives and many more were wounded

During a previous election there were interviews with some veterans who had been there on the ground.

BOURQUIN: You know, it just led me down a rabbit hole of a whole lot of emotions and, you know, took me back to a lot of different places. This is a guy that we've been fighting against for so many years. And he's responsible for the death of quite a few of my friends and their friends and, you know, a lot of destruction. And now he wants to be a politician. And he's moving up along those lines.

SALERNO: When my battalion left Iraq in March of '05, when we went down to Kuwait, it was right after the elections in 2005 in February. And I honestly believed that all the blood and treasure at that point had been worth it. My interpreters were coming in on Election Day, and they were literally crying. They were so happy. They were hugging us. They were telling us, this is the greatest day in Iraq. And I honestly thought we had done something good. And over the years, just watching it unravel the way it has has been absolutely heartbreaking - absolutely heartbreaking for me.


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