Monday, March 27, 2006

Attack on Moqtada al-Sadr Forces

The American goal of keeping the Shiites from rising up against the occupation may have suffered a big setback in an attack Sunday on a group of Sadr's followers by U.S. and Iraqi special forces.

U.S. and Iraqi special forces killed at least 16 followers of the Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday in a twilight assault on what the U.S. military said was a "terrorist cell" responsible for attacks on soldiers and civilians...

Aides to Sadr, who is backed by one of the country's largest and most feared militias, said those killed were innocents praying in the al-Moustafa mosque in the Shaab neighborhood, well north of Adhamiyah, when the assault began at 6 p.m.

I doubt that the American forces, at least, attacked the mosque. After three years the sensitivities of the Muslims about the mosques is one lesson that has been beaten into the American troops.

But the allegation does not have to be true to stir up the Shiite hordes.

"I think we are going to have a firm stance against the American forces because of this crime," Salam al-Maliki, the country's transportation minister and a close Sadr ally, said on al-Iraqiya television. The network aired footage throughout the night of bloody bodies lying on a concrete floor and men wrapping the corpses in blankets by the light of glow sticks and carrying them away.

Maliki blamed the incident on U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who has accused the Mahdi Army of carrying out a slew of recent killings in the wake of the bombing last month of a revered Shiite mosque in Samarra, north of Baghdad...

An aide to Jafari, who was endorsed by Sadr's political wing to retain his job in the next government but is opposed by other Iraqi factions, said the government was not notified about the raid in advance.

"The incident has injured the whole political process," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, referring to the deliberations about the composition of the next government that have deadlocked since elections in December. "Some leaders will be dismayed of this situation and hesitate to participate knowing that such an incident took place and how the government was not aware. We need to sort of calm down the situation now."

The formation of the Iraqi "Unity" government was already proving to be a tenuous proposition, with the first parliamentary meeting to select a government adjourning after only 30 minutes with no further meetings scheduled.

This latest incident won't help things.


Blogger DrewL said...

First the Sunnis. Next the Shia. All we need is to get the Kurds pissed at us and we'll have the trifecta.

3/28/2006 11:56 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


Or as some term it, the hat trick.

3/29/2006 9:15 AM  

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