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Al-Sadr Suspending All "Militia Activity" In Iraq

From a gobsmacked Associated Press:

Mahdi army militiamen parade during a rally in Baghdad, 2006.

Al-Sadr Suspends Militia Activity in Iraq

By DAVID RISING
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

BAGHDAD — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered a six-month suspension of activities by his Mahdi Army militia in order to reorganize the force, and it will no longer attack U.S. and coalition troops, aides said Wednesday.

The aide, Sheik Hazim al-Araji, said on Iraqi state television that the goal was to “rehabilitate” the organization, which has reportedly broken into factions, some of which the U.S. maintains are trained and supplied by Iran.

“We declare the freezing of the Mahdi Army without exception in order to rehabilitate it in a way that will safeguard its ideological image within a maximum period of six months starting from the day this statement is issued,” al-Araji said, reading from a statement by al-Sadr.

In Najaf, al-Sadr’s spokesman said the order also means the Mahdi Army will no longer launch attacks against U.S. and other coalition forces.

“It also includes suspending the taking up of arms against occupiers as well as others,” Ahmed al-Shaibani told reporters.

Asked if Mahdi militiamen would defend themselves against provocations, he replied: “We will deal with it when it happens.” …

Of course this is great news, if it is true. But Mr. al-Sadr seldom tells the truth.

And we know how easily provoked they are.

So we shall see. 

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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