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Battle for the City of the Dead: In the Shadow of the Golden Dome, Najaf, August 2004    by Dick Camp order for
Battle for the City of the Dead
by Dick Camp
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2011 (2011)

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Subtitled, 'In the Shadow of the Golden Dome, Najaf, August 2004', this volume charts the struggle to subdue the followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the members of his Mahdi Militia.

Using Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf (120 miles south of Baghdad) as a base of operations and the largest Muslim cemetery in the world as a safe haven, the Mahdi Militia battled with coalition forces in 2004.

A U.S. Marine battalion and two U.S. Army battalions, under strict orders of engagement, broke through the militia's defenses in the cemetery and into Najaf's old city, surrounding the enemy fighters in the Imam Ali Mosque.

Before the campaign could be successfully concluded, the Grand Ayatollah Ali-al-Sistani brokered a deal with al-Sadr that allowed his followers to freely withdraw by laying down their weapons.

A retired Marine colonel, Dick Camp reveals the full scope of the battle for Najaf as the American troops fought through the City of the Dead. Along with ten maps, 132 color photos accompany the narrative and flesh out the story of this harrowing, bloody battle.

Obviously, fighting in an area which included one of the holiest of all Shiite shrines and on enormous burial area made the task all the more complicated . Of the battle's ultimate outcome, Camp writes that in his estimation the ceasefire was 'only a temporary 'fix' and that we would fight the militia sometime in the future'.

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