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Al-Sadr Rethinks His “Open War” Declaration

From his brethren at Al Jazeera:

Sadr clarifies ‘open war’ statement

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008

Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia leader, has said his recent threat of “open war” was directed only at US forces, not the Iraqi government.

Al-Sadr further avoided confrontation with the Iraqi government by asking his followers to continue to observe a ceasefire, in a statement read by a Shia cleric during Friday prayers at a mosque in Sadr City.

His comments could ease some tension in Iraq since Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, cracked down on al-Sadr’s al-Mahdi Army a month ago and threatened to ban his mass movement from provincial elections in October.

“You are the best who committed and were patient with the decision to cease fire, and were the most obedient to your leader,” read al-Sadr’s statement.

“I wish you would continue your patience and your belief.

“When we threatened ‘open war’ we meant a war against the occupier, not a war against our Iraqi brothers,” it added.

Hundreds of people have died in Sadr City, a poor suburb of the Iraqi capital, and other Shia areas including Basra in the south since al-Maliki began the crackdown.

Al-Sadr threatened an “open war” on Saturday unless al-Maliki called off the campaign against his fighters in Baghdad, the oil hub of Basra and other Shia areas.

Although Basra has since become quieter, fighting has continued in and around Sadr City.

A general uprising by the group could unravel months of security gains in Iraq while US soldiers are drawing down.

Al-Sadr first imposed a ceasefire on the al-Mahdi Army last August. It has been widely credited with helping cut violence in Iraq but has come under severe strain during the clashes of the past month.

Al-Sadr made clear on Friday that he wanted US troops to leave Iraq.

“My brothers in the al-Mahdi Army and the Iraqi forces, be a single hand and stop shedding each other’s blood. Support all types of resistance in order to have a safe Iraq,” al-Sadr said…

In other words, Mr. Sadr’s forces are being destroyed and he is crying “uncle.”

Mind you, this is the “Basra Offensive” that our watchdog media has repeatedly assured us is such a colossal failure.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 25th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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