The Battle of Najaf was a major battle in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The first stage of the battle was fought when the US 3rd Infantry Division fought to surround the town. The second stage was fought when soldiers from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division fought to clear and secure the city.

The Battle of Najaf started with American AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships setting out on a mission to attack Republican Guard armored units, and while flying low, came under heavy anti-aircraft, small arms, and RPG fire which disrupted the attack and led to one of the gunships down and many heavily damaged. They attacked again successfully on March 26, this time after a pre-mission artillery barrage and with support from F/A-18 Hornet jets, with no gunships lost.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team's air defense battery moved in and after heavy fighting with entrenched Iraqi Fedayeen seized a strategic bridge in Najaf, known as "Objective Jenkins". They then came under fierce counter attacks by Iraqi forces and Fedayeen, but they failed to dislodge U.S. forces from their positions. After 36 hours of combat at the bridge at Najaf, the Iraqis were defeated, and the key bridge was secured, isolating Najaf from the north.

The 101st Airborne Division on March 29, supported by a battalion from the 1st Armored Division attacked Iraqi forces in the southern part of the city, near the Imam Ali Mosque and captured Najaf's airfield. However, four Americans were killed by a suicide bomber. Then on March 31, the 101st launched a attack with a reconnaissance-in-force into Najaf and on April 1, elements of the 70th Armored Regiment launched a "Thunder Run", a armored thrust through Najaf's city center and after several days of heavy fighting and with air support was able to defeat the Iraqi forces, slowly securing the city by April 4. The Iraqis had suffered hundreds of casualties during the battle.