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Sadr fighters raise white flag (Great Job Iraqi Troops with minimal US help)
The Times ^ | 3/31/2008 | AFP

Posted on 03/31/2008 11:22:26 AM PDT by tobyhill

BAGHDAD - Fighters of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have melted away from the streets of the Iraqi capital and Basra where they fought fierce battles with security forces, AFP reporters said today.

Yesterday, Sadr ordered his fighters to withdraw from the streets in a move signaling the end of clashes which erupted in the southern port city of Basra and quickly spread to Shiite areas across Iraq.

AFP correspondents in Baghdad and Basra said that militants were off the streets in the two key cities where they fought Iraqi security forces backed by US-led coalition air power.

The Sadr group in Baghdad confirmed that fighters from the cleric’s feared Mahdi Army militia were no longer deployed in the capital.

"Sadr movement and Jaish al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) are committed to the order of Sadr," said Hamdallah al-Rikabi, spokesman of the cleric’s movement in western Baghdad. "We are implementing what Sadr has ordered."

(Excerpt) Read more at thetimes.co.za ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 4victory; basra; iran; iraq; oops; sadr; sadrslaststand; victoryoverterror
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To: SlapHappyPappy
CNN, Saturday 3/29
***But several U.S. officials said Friday that the Iraqi military push is not going as well as American officials had hoped. A U.S. military intelligence analysis found that Iraqi security forces control less than a quarter of Basra, officials in both the United States and Iraq said.***

CNN, Monday 3/31
***The mood Monday on the streets in Basra was quiet, said al-Askari, the prime minister's spokesman. Shops opened in the morning, and the movement of people was almost back to normal in the center of town.
Troops and police, whom the U.S. and Britain have backed, are in control of much of Basra, and local security forces are going house-to-house in some districts to confiscate weapons and chase “the outlaws and the criminal and smuggling gangs,” the spokesman said.***

Sadr lost Basra so he's declared the loser at least for this round.

51 posted on 03/31/2008 1:54:21 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: tobyhill
The Sadr group in Baghdad confirmed that fighters from the cleric’s feared Mahdi Army militia were no longer deployed in the capital

Feared by whom? Unarmed civilians, maybe, but not by a professionally-trained military - which would explain why they are constantly getting their assed kicked.
52 posted on 03/31/2008 1:54:36 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (feh)
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To: Allegra; Thomas W.
Cool! I wonder when that was done?

Maybe Thomas W knows. I think he might be the camera operator.

53 posted on 03/31/2008 1:57:12 PM PDT by jellybean (Write in Fred! - Proud Ann-droid and a Steyn-aholic)
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To: reagan_fanatic

They’re Iranian Paper Tigers. I agree that it’s not over but this battle was a true hardened test for the Iraqi Troops and overall they passed which is a lose for Sadr.


54 posted on 03/31/2008 1:57:25 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: tobyhill; Allegra
LA Times spin...says Sadr got what he wanted:

From the LA Times....barf:

Al-Sadr Trumps in Latest Showdown

*******************EXCERPT******************

"Al-Sadr achieved what he wanted," said Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiite politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. "He stood his ground, made his point and showed he has the real power in the south, not his rivals."

In the balance of politics in Iraq, that means the biggest hit is taken by the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and its allies.

55 posted on 03/31/2008 2:10:05 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The LA Times couldn't have gotten it more wrong.

And judging by the sounds in Baghdad tonight, the good guys aren't backing down. I mean the sounds right now.

This sucker ain't over just because Mookie surrendered.

There has been no acceptance of his surrender terms.

56 posted on 03/31/2008 2:14:07 PM PDT by Allegra (Tehran delenda est)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

If 461 dead, 1100 wounded and hundreds captured is making a point then I guess the LA Times is right.


57 posted on 03/31/2008 2:16:02 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: r9etb
Good afternoon.
“...I don't imagine Mookie’s folks are all that keen on being the next round of cannon fodder”

In footage of the fighting that I saw, there were quite a few fat old men who didn't look like they were all that comfortable with their weapons.

At the same time that troops gain seasoning, they also lose veterans to attrition. Peace becomes more attractive, when the opposition proves that they have grown stronger while you have grown weaker.

Michael Frazier

58 posted on 03/31/2008 2:45:54 PM PDT by brazzaville (No surrender, no retreat. Well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: Allegra

Now that is GOOD NEWS....Thanks...


59 posted on 03/31/2008 5:00:54 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Allegra; tobyhill
Times of UK is following the LA Times Story line:

Nouri al-Maliki humiliated as gamble to crush Shia militias fail

****************************EXCERPT***************************

At the Sadr Office in the centre of the massive slum in northeast Baghdad, home to 2.5 million impoverished Shias, the receptionists greeted visitors with sweets to mark their victory over Nouri al-Maliki, the increasingly isolated Iraqi

Prime Minister, who directed the assault on Shia rogue militias in Basra, the lawless southern oil city. “This is for victory over Maliki,” one said with a grin. “The fighting ended on our terms.”

Certainly Mr al-Maliki’s huge gamble appeared to have failed yesterday. Having vowed to crush Shia militias with a 30,000-strong force in Basra, he ended up suing for peace with the people he had described as “worse than al-Qaeda”. Al-Mahdi Army kept its weapons and turf.

Sheikh Salman al-Freiji, the head of the Sadr Office, said that Mr al-Maliki was a tool in the hands of the Americans. “The American project has been to split the Iraqi sects and community from Day_1,” he said. “They tried to split Sunnis from Shia. Now that has failed, they are trying to split the Shia.” He said that an al-Mahdi Army freeze on operations, introduced in August, was still in place but reserved the right to attack the “illegitimate American occupation”.

60 posted on 03/31/2008 5:07:34 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The media is spinning this anyway they can to save their own face. It was just two days earlier the media claimed Sadr's militia wouldn't leave the streets but they left. Now the media is claiming that Maliki made a deal to release the captured that haven't been charged but that would have happened anyway if they weren't charged. They claim Iran is the broker of peace but now we find out that the ratlines were blocked and the militia was running out of ammo. Of course Iran was begging for it to stop, their inventory was getting depleted. Saturday the media claimed Sadr's militia controlled over 75% of Basra but today they claim the Iraqi troops control the streets but are still losing. It's really strange that the MSM claims Maliki was the one that surrendered yet the Iraqi Troops are still conducting ops in Basra. The MSM is playing the same game with Maliki as they've been playing with Bush, Move The Goalpost.
61 posted on 03/31/2008 5:30:22 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: tobyhill

Looks that way...meanwhile their circulation continues to drop...


62 posted on 03/31/2008 5:52:16 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Exactly. The MSM couldn't possibly think people would believe that Sadr's militia came out ahead after 4,000 of their members got either killed, wounded or captured. These reporters are certified idiots.
63 posted on 03/31/2008 5:58:52 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican
I’m sure the Mahdi army will declare this a great victory.

If not the Mahdis, the the self-serving, leftist Brit "journalists":

Nouri al-Maliki humiliated as gamble to crush Shia militias fail

(Published on the 1 April no less.)

64 posted on 03/31/2008 10:39:50 PM PDT by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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