Skip to comments.Sadr fighters raise white flag (Great Job Iraqi Troops with minimal US help)
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 clerics 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 clerics movement in western Baghdad. "We are implementing what Sadr has ordered."
(Excerpt) Read more at thetimes.co.za ...
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.
Maybe Thomas W knows. I think he might be the camera operator.
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.
From the LA Times....barf:
"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.
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.
If 461 dead, 1100 wounded and hundreds captured is making a point then I guess the LA Times is right.
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.
Now that is GOOD NEWS....Thanks...
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-Malikis 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.
Looks that way...meanwhile their circulation continues to drop...
If not the Mahdis, the the self-serving, leftist Brit "journalists":
(Published on the 1 April no less.)