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Sadr Offers To Disband His Terrorist “Militia”

From his besotted fans at Reuters:

Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr chant slogans as ...

Iraq’s Sadr to disband Mehdi Army if clerics order

By Khaled Farhan

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr offered on Monday to disband his militia if the highest Shi’ite religious authority demand it, a shock announcement at a time when the group is the focus of an upsurge in fighting.

It was the first time Sadr has offered to dissolve the Mehdi Army militia, whose black-masked fighters have been principle actors throughout Iraq’s five-year-old war and the main foes of U.S. and Iraqi forces in widespread battles over recent weeks.

The news came on the day Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who launched a crackdown on the militia late last month, ordered the Mehdi Army to disband or Sadr’s followers would be excluded from Iraqi political life.

Senior Sadr aide Hassan Zargani said Sadr would seek rulings from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most senior Shi’ite cleric, as well as senior Shi’ite clergy based in Iran, on whether to dissolve the Mehdi Army, and would obey their orders.

“If they order the Mehdi Army to disband, Moqtada al-Sadr and the Sadr movement will obey the orders of the religious leaders,” Zargani told Reuters from neighboring Iran, where U.S. officials say Sadr has spent most of the past year

The developments come at a pivotal time, two days before Sadr has called a million followers onto the streets for anti-American demonstrations and one day before the top U.S. officials in Iraqi are due to brief Congress on progress…

In an interview broadcast on Monday, Maliki singled out the Mehdi Army by name for the first time and ordered it to disband.

“Solving the problem comes in no other way than dissolving the Mehdi Army,” Maliki told U.S. network CNN. “They no longer have a right to participate in the political process or take part in the upcoming elections unless they end the Mehdi Army.”

He said government troops would continue the Sadr City crackdown: “We have opened the door for confrontation, a real confrontation with these gangs, and we will not stop until we are in full control of these areas.” …

Mr. Al-Sadr is always trying to work some angle.

But wouldn’t it be more pious to kill him and all of his followers and let Allah sort them out?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 7th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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