Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division killed 4 Mahdi fighters and destroyed 10 rockets and 1 truck. The air attack was followed up by a ground raid by soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Six Mahdi fighters were captured in “a residence inside Sadr City.” Reuters reported the engagement occurred in the neighborhood of Habibibya, which U.S. forces cordoned.
The Multinational Forces Iraq press release was clear the Mahdi cell was firing rockets, and not smaller mortars. The word “rocket” was used 7 times in the press release. U.S. forces found 107mm rockets in a field north of Sadr City on Friday. “[The cache] was found in an area known to locals as the ‘Jaish Al Mahdi Forbidden Zone,’ where some rocket attacks on Baghdad’s International Zone have originated,” Multinational Forces Iraq reported. “The cache contained 20 107mm rocket warheads, three fully assembled 107mm rockets, one 60mm mortar and a sandbag full of blasting devices.”
The Washington Post noted on Saturday that Iran has been supplying Shia insurgents with 240mm rockets, with a range of 30 miles, known as the Fajr-3. “Three of the rockets have targeted U.S. facilities in Baghdad's Green Zone, and one came very close to hitting the U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital, according to the U.S. officials.” These are the same rockets Hezbollah fired into northern Israel from Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006.