``The Mahdi Army, the paramilitary force that once led a Shiite rebellion against American troops here, was making its largest show of force since it suspended fighting in 2008. This time, its fighters were raising arms against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the Qaeda splinter group that has driven Iraq's security forces from parts of the country's north and west. Chanting "One, two, three, Mahdi!" they implored their leader, the cleric Moktada al-Sadr, to send them to battle.''

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