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In big concession, militia agrees to let Iraqi troops into Sadr City

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Jordan55, May 9, 2008.

  1. Jordan55

    Jordan55 Active Member

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    In big concession, militia agrees to let Iraqi troops into Sadr City
    By Leila Fadel | McClatchy Newspapers

    BAGHDAD — Followers of rebel cleric Muqtada al Sadr agreed late Friday to allow Iraqi security forces to enter all of Baghdad's Sadr City and to arrest anyone found with heavy weapons in a surprising capitulation that seemed likely to be hailed as a major victory for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.

    In return, Sadr's Mahdi Army supporters won the Iraqi government's agreement not to arrest Mahdi Army members without warrants, unless they were in possession of "medium and heavy weaponry."

    The agreement would end six weeks of fighting in the vast Shiite Muslim area that's home to more than 2 million residents and would mark the first time that the area would be under government control since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. On Friday, 15 people were killed and 112 were injured in fighting, officials at the neighborhoods two major hospitals said.

    It also would be a startling turnaround in fortunes for Maliki, who'd been widely criticized for picking a fight with Sadr's forces, first in the southern port city of Basra and then in Sadr City.

    Members of Maliki's Dawa Party and the powerful Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq met with Sadr officials on Thursday and Friday to come up with a 14-point agreement to end the weeks of fighting, which has hindered the flow of food and water into Sadr City. The agreement was then passed to Sadr and Maliki for final approval, said Baha al Araji, a Sadrist legislator.

    Hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds have been wounded in the fighting, which included frequent U.S. airstrikes. At least 8,500 people have been driven from their homes, and thousands of others have been forced to stay inside, too frightened to flee.

    A government supporter said the Sadrists were brought to the table by the anger of Sadr City residents. On Thursday, the Iraqi military ordered Sadr City residents to evacuate in apparent preparation for a major offensive push.

    "It is not the government who pressured the Sadrists into entering this agreement," said Ali al Adeeb, a leading member of the Dawa party. "It is the pressure from the people inside Sadr City and from their own people that will make them act more responsibly."

    Like many things in Iraq, the precise effect of the agreement won't be known immediately. Sadr officials long have claimed that their militia has no heavy weaponry, and Sadr has condemned those with such munitions.

    Sadr supporter Araji, however, said the agreement specifically barred American forces from entering Sadr City.

    "The Iraqi forces, not the American forces, can come into Sadr City and search for weapons," Araji said. "We don't have big weapons, and we want this to stop."

    The Mahdi Army, and the Sadr movement in general, has been losing support in the past two months in the face of a government offensive intended to force the militia from its controlling positions in Basra and Sadr City.

    In Basra, a city known for culture and music, Shiite extremists had taken control in late 2005 and began shutting down music stories and forcing women to cover themselves.

    But after initially resisting Maliki's offensive, the Sadrists ceded their areas, and the change in atmosphere has been palpable. An annual poetry festival, al Mirbed, resumed for the first time in three years, with male and female folk dancers performing in public and poets spouting their verses.

    The city isn't free of Sadr influences, however, though the Iraqi army seems ready to quell any resurgence. Sadrists resumed prayer services on Friday for the first time since late March, but as the imam spouted anti-government rhetoric, Iraqi soldiers converged on the mosque and the Sadrists ran, witnesses said.

    Iraqi officials, including Adeeb, said that Iran, which U.S. officials have accused of supporting the Shiite militias, was "aware" and "supportive" of the agreement. Adeeb made two trips to Iran to meet with Iranian officials to stem the militia violence in Iraq.
  2. kristie

    kristie Well-Known Member

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    "wow" is all i have to say about it.:eek:
  3. Jordan55

    Jordan55 Active Member

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    You don't hear to much about what's going on over there, since it's now improving considerably, but I believe that if we cut and run on Iraq, using the Democratic view point, we will be making a big mistake. Down size yes, cut and run and give a date at the same time is absolute lunacy.
    In the words of Harry Reid, The US war in Iraq is lost and a further build-up of US troops in the country will not recover the situation, the senior Democrat in the US senate has said.

    "This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Harry Reid, the senate Democratic majority leader, told reporters.
    He's a GD idiot!
    Democratic Leadership at it's best.
  4. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    Funny,but I scan lots of newspapers online every morning over my cup o' joe,and this story sure doesn't seem to be getting much print. This is HUGH!!!
  5. Jordan55

    Jordan55 Active Member

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    You didn't expect it to, did you? The majority of our news outlets can't be to happy today. They are trying to figure out how to spin it, so as to show strong democratic support for the surge.:D Yeah this is great news, now they are concentrating on

    BAGHDAD - U.S-backed forces have launched an operation against al-Qaida in Iraq's last urban stronghold, an Iraqi army commander said on Saturday.

    Maj. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, the commander of military operations in Mosul, issued a statement announcing the beginning of the long-anticipated offensive in the northern city
  6. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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