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Keyword: mahdiarmy

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  • Iraq crisis: Baghdad's Shia militia in defiant 50,000-strong rally as Isis make further gains

    06/21/2014 7:42:07 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 17 replies
    The London Telegraph ^ | June 21, 2014 | Colin Freeman, Sadr City, Baghdad
    Tensions mount in Iraq as Mahdi Army put on show of force in Baghdad featuring missiles, bazookas and assault rifles while Isis seize key Syria border crossing. Baghdad's biggest Shia Muslim faction staged a show of force in face of the Isis threat to the Iraqi capital on Saturday, in a parade that stretched for several miles, featuring missiles, bazookas, hi-tech assault rifles and artillery. As tens of thousands of uniformed men marched through the streets, loudspeakers proclaimed how they would defend Iraq from the Sunni jihadists rampaging through the north of the country. This pageant of armed might, however,...
  • Iranian Murders in the West

    10/19/2011 5:00:30 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 1 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | Oct 18, 2011 | Stephen Schwartz
    Americans were stunned on October 11 when the Justice Department unsealed its complaint against Mansour Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old used-car dealer from Corpus Christi now in federal custody, and Ali Gholam Shakuri, a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. Shakuri remains inside Iran. The pair have been charged with conspiring to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir. As disclosed by the Treasury Department, the plot was coordinated by Arbabsiar’s cousin, Abdul Reza Shahlai, a top Quds Force functionary whom the Treasury designated in 2008 as one of several “individuals and entities fueling violence in Iraq.” Shahlai was...
  • Iraqi forces search for Qods Force agents

    11/07/2009 12:31:33 AM PST · by Cindy · 5 replies · 561+ views
    LONG WAR JOURNAL.org ^ | November 7, 2009 2:28 AM | By BILL ROGGIO
    SNIPPET: "Iraqi officials in Al Kut are seeking four suspected Iranian Qods Force operatives behind attacks on security forces. Members of the Iraqi security forces put up wanted posters with photos of the Iranian operates on the streets in an effort to detain the men. The Qods Force agents are wanted for "armed operations against Iraqi security personnel and civilians," an Iraqi security official told Voices of Iraq. "The security authorities in Kut appealed to local residents to report these dangerous persons who are wanted on charges of involvement in terrorist operations in Iraq." The campaign was announced the same...
  • US breaks up Mahdi Army 'Promise Day Brigade' cell in Al Kut

    04/26/2009 3:46:53 PM PDT · by Cindy · 4 replies · 470+ views
    LONG WAR JOURNAL.org ^ | April 26, 2009, 4:07 pm | Bill Roggio
    The US military broke up an Iranian-backed terror cell associated with Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army during a raid in Al Kut in central Iraq. Iraqi officials are claiming the US military conducted the raid without approval. Coalition forces killed one Iranian-backed terrorist and captured six others during a raid that targeted a financier that supports both the Mahdi Army Special Groups and the Brigade of the Promised Day. One woman was also killed during a gunfight that broke out during the raid; the woman was caught in the crossfire. The Brigade of the Promised Day was created by Sadr...
  • Fifteen corpses found in Baghdad mass grave

    11/19/2008 11:05:40 AM PST · by forkinsocket · 1 replies · 187+ views
    CNN ^ | November 18, 2008 | Yousif Bassil and Jomana Karadsheh
    Police in northern Baghdad found a mass grave Tuesday that contained the remains of 15 people, an Interior Ministry official said. The grave was in a house under construction in the Ur neighborhood, which used to be controlled by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia. Authorities were attempting to determine who the victims were and when they died. In other incidents, two bombs in a car exploded in Nineveh province's Sinjar area Tuesday. A civilian was killed and 11 were wounded, authorities in Mosul said. A roadside bomb exploded in front of the western Baghdad house of an Electricity...
  • Cleric is Shot Dead in Basra

    09/21/2008 4:58:45 AM PDT · by Schnucki · 3 replies · 166+ views
    Daily Express ^ | September 20, 2008
    Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed a cleric loyal to US foe Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra. Police say Sheik Oday Ali Abbas al-Ajrish was killed on Friday evening near his home. A Basra police officer and a medic from the city's morgue confirmed the killing. Al-Ajrish's brother, Mohammad al-Ajrish, is a member of the tribal council for southern Iraq. Al-Sadr lives in Iran but retains significant influence in Iraq. His Mahdi Army militia battled US and Iraqi forces for years, but al-Sadr declared a ceasefire last year and his militia is largely disbanded.
  • Why the Surge Worked (excellent read Gen Keane (ret) interview)

    09/20/2008 6:47:03 AM PDT · by milwguy · 3 replies · 221+ views
    wsj ^ | 9/20/2008 | MATTHEW KAMINSKI
    Gen. Keane wants to make sure people understand why the surge worked. "I have a theory" about the unexpectedly fast turnaround, he says. "Whether they be Sunni, Shia or Kurd, anyone who was being touched by that war after four years was fed up with it. And I think once a solution was being provided, once they saw the Americans were truly willing to take risks and die to protect their women and children and their way of life, they decided one, to protect the Americans, and two, to turn in the enemies that were around them who were intimidating...
  • Chain wrapped around 'old man's body' found in mosque

    08/19/2008 11:40:58 AM PDT · by Red in Blue PA · 24 replies · 100+ views
    CNN ^ | 8/19/2008 | Arwa Damon
    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- "There are the bloodstains on the wall, and here it is dried on the floor," says Abu Muhanad as he walks through a torture chamber in a Baghdad mosque where more than two dozen bodies have been found. Two women clutch photographs of loved ones believed killed by the Mehdi Army. "And here, a woman's shoes. She was a victim of the militia. We found her corpse in the grave." Chunks of hair waft lazily across the floor in the hot Baghdad breeze. "This was the torture room," says Muhanad, the leader of a U.S.-backed armed...
  • Wall St Journal: "Basra and the Brits"

    08/14/2008 3:12:43 AM PDT · by The Raven · 14 replies · 774+ views
    Wall St Journal ^ | Aug 14, 2008 | editorial
    A controversy has broken out in London over Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the honor of Britain's military, and Iraq. It's a reminder of the road America could have taken before the surge made victory possible -- and a warning to politicians who are slaves to public opinion in war. The story starts with this spring's military offensive by the Iraqi government to oust the Shiite militias from the southern city of Basra. The British were given coalition control in the south starting in 2003. Yet when the Iraqi military ran into trouble at the start of their operation this year,...
  • Mahdi Army to become Iraq “social services” organization

    08/06/2008 3:03:41 PM PDT · by Starman417 · 12 replies · 268+ views
    Flopping Aces ^ | 08-06-08 | Mataharley
    Per a news release from yesterday, Muqtada al-Sadr plans to disarm the Mahdi militia, and change it to a social services organization that focuses on education, religion and social justice... all without weaponry. Recently, however, the group has been hit by a largely successful Iraqi military crackdown against militia members operating as criminal gangs. At the same time, Mr. Sadr's popular support is dwindling: Residents who once viewed the Mahdi Army as champions of the poor became alienated by what they saw as its thuggish behavior. A new brochure, obtained by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by Mr. Sadr's...
  • Report: Sadr to disarm Mahdi Army (U.S. Winning In Iraq Alert!)

    08/06/2008 6:24:51 AM PDT · by xzins · 35 replies · 143+ views
    Stars & Stries ^ | 6 Aug 08 | S&S
    Report: Sadr to disarm Mahdi Army Stars and Stripes Mideast edition, Wednesday, August 6, 2008 Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr intends to disarm his once-dominant Mahdi Army militia and remake it as a social-services organization, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The transformation would represent a significant turnaround for a group that has been one of the most destabilizing anti-American forces in Iraq. A new brochure, obtained by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by al-Sadr’s chief spokesman, Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, states that the Mahdi Army will now be guided by Shiite spirituality instead of anti-American militancy. The group will focus...
  • BBC: UK Basra deal claims 'not true'

    08/05/2008 12:19:30 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 13 replies · 210+ views
    BBC ^ | Tuesday, 5 August 2008 19:44 UK | BBC Staff
    UK Basra deal claims 'not true' A deal allowed UK troops to withdraw to Basra's airport last summer The defence secretary has said reports British soldiers delayed helping Iraqi troops in Basra because of a deal with militiamen were "simply not true". The Times said a secret pact with the Mehdi Army kept British forces on the sidelines for days while an attack was launched on the Shia group in March. While officials denied the pact, but admitted a previous deal, Des Browne said he never constrained the military. The Conservatives said the public had not been given the...
  • Radical Iraq Cleric in Retreat

    08/04/2008 6:27:19 PM PDT · by flyfree · 28 replies · 207+ views
    wsj ^ | August 5, 2008 | GINA CHON
    BAGHDAD -- Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr -- long a thorn in the side of the U.S. military and Iraqi government -- intends to disarm his once-feared Mahdi Army militia and remake it as a social-services organization. The transformation would represent a significant turnabout for a group that, as recently as earlier this year, was seen as one of the most destabilizing anti-American forces in Iraq. For much of the past several years, the Mahdi Army, headed by Mr. Sadr, a Shiite cleric, controlled sizable chunks of Baghdad and other major cities. Its brand of pro-Shiite activism had the side effect...
  • Iraqi, US forces keep pressure on the Mahdi Army

    07/21/2008 8:02:38 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 14 replies · 585+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/21/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi and US troops continue to press the offensive against the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army during a series of raids throughout Iraq. Since July 18, US and Iraqi forces have killed six Mahdi Army fighters and captured 18 during operations in central Iraq. Scores more have been captured, including senior leaders, weapons smugglers, financiers, trainers, and cell leaders. The raids have been driven by intelligence, much of it gleaned from captive Mahdi Army fighters, according to information contained in Multinational Forces Iraq press releases. Captive Mahdi Army leaders and cell members are providing US and Iraqi forces information on leaders and...
  • Mahdi Army Uses "flying IED's" in Bagdhad

    07/12/2008 10:03:15 AM PDT · by centurion316 · 17 replies · 417+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | June 5, 2008 | Bill Roggio
    The explosions in the Sha'ab neighborhood in the Baghdad district of Adhamiyah, which killed 16 civilians and wounded 29 more, have been "misreported," according to the US military. The explosions in the Mahdi Army stronghold were initially reported in the media as a car bomb attack that targeted a police commander. The attack was held up as the largest bombing in Baghdad since mid-March. But the US military has refuted the reports, saying the explosions were caused by the premature detonation of a Special Groups improvised rocket launching system. The system, which has been described as a flying improvised explosive...
  • Iraqi forces pursue Mahdi Army in Baghdad

    07/07/2008 5:25:16 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 8 replies · 237+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 7/6/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Clashes broke out in the Sadr City district in northeastern Baghdad after Iraqi forces detained a senior Sadrist leader, an Iraqi news outlet reported. Iraqi soldiers and police cordoned several neighborhoods in the Mahdi Army stronghold to contain the fighting that occurred after security forces detained Abbas Abdul Aal, who is a "senior Sadrist leader," Voices of Iraq reported. Aal's nephew was also detailed. "Security forces closed all of the city's outlets and prevented the movement of traffic and pedestrians," an eyewitness told the Iraqi newspaper. The move in Sadr comes one day after Iraqi soldiers closed the Sadrist office...
  • Sadr Becomes Traitor, Iranian Agent, Against Iraq

    06/27/2008 8:40:41 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 34 replies · 114+ views
    Strata Sphere ^ | Jun 27 2008 | AJStrata
    Seems like Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Iraqi Shiite cleric hiding in Iran, has decided to become Iraq’s version of Benedict Arnold: The Mehdi Army of Moqtada Sadr is evolving into a clandestine movement following Iraqi military operations targeting the group, intelligence suggests.The military wing of the Sadrist Movement, the political party loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, is “turning itself into a secret armed organization,” an Iraqi intelligence official told the Gulf News on condition of anonymity.Iraqi intelligence reports suggest the group’s numbers have dwindled from around 50,000 to as few as 150 in the past few years.Intelligence officials credit...
  • Three senior Mahdi Army commanders captured in Baghdad, Hillah

    06/21/2008 6:00:17 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 17 replies · 182+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/21/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a senior Mahdi Army commander with "close ties" to Muqtada al Sadr's office in Najaf on June 19. Two other senior Mahdi Army commanders in Baghdad and Hillah were captured on June 20 and 21. The Mahdi Army commander captured by Iraqi special forces is thought to be "an influential advisor in west Baghdad" with close ties to the Office of the [Martyr] Sadr in Najaf," Multinational Forces Iraq reported. The commander also is able to appoint Mahdi Army officers into command positions. The US military would not release the identity of the leader as...
  • Sadr's Special Groups

    06/20/2008 12:38:23 PM PDT · by K-oneTexas · 3 replies · 116+ views
    Foundation for the Defense of Democracies ^ | 13 June 2008 | Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bill Roggio
    Sadr's Special Groups By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bill Roggio June 13, 2008 This article was originally published in the Weekly Standard.   In the past month, Iraqi and coalition forces have succeeded in their fight against the Mahdi Army's "special groups." On May 3, the U.S. military destroyed a special groups’ command center in Sadr City, killing a wanted leader in the attack. On May 25, Iraqi special operations forces captured a mid-level special groups leader in the al-Shuala area of Baghdad. And on May 31, Iraqi special operations forces captured another special groups "criminal" in Baghdad who was suspected of...
  • IRAQ: Maysan operation continues to target Sadrist leaders - moving to the Iranian border marshes

    06/20/2008 12:09:59 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 12 replies · 121+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | June 20, 2008 8:54 AM | Bill Roggio
    The Iraqi security forces have detained five senior Sadrist leaders and a department director in Maysan province during Operation Promise of Peace. The Mahdi Army, the armed wing of the Sadrist movement, has not put up any opposition to the government’s efforts to secure Maysan, a Sadrist stronghold on the Iranian border. Iraqi forces are conducting a series of raids in Amarah and throughout the southern province, "capturing key targets including government officials wanted by the authorities in a number of cases," said Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for Iraq's Ministry of the Interior. "Five officials from the...
  • Al-Mahdi Army militias routed without a shot fired

    06/19/2008 6:53:14 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 23 replies · 96+ views
    Times of London ^ | 06/20/08 | James Hider
    <p>They came at dawn, thousands of Iraqi troops and US special forces on a mission to reclaim a lawless city from the militias who ran it.</p> <p>By the end of the day, al-Amarah was under Iraqi Government control - without a shot being fired.</p>
  • Iran On Its Heels As Iraqi Government Gets Stronger

    06/19/2008 3:13:55 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 8 replies · 114+ views
    Flopping Aces ^ | JJune 19, 2008 | Curt
    According the WaPo it appears the Iranians miscalculated when they backed Sadr instead of the Maliki government: For the first time since 2003, Iran has stumbled in Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s decision to confront Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra and Sadr City last month caught Tehran off guard. The Mahdi Army lost more than face: It surrendered large caches of arms, and many of its leaders fled or were killed or captured. Crucially, the militias lost strategic terrain — Basra and its chokehold on the causeway between Kuwait and Baghdad and Iraq’s oil exports; Sadr City and the...
  • Iraqi security forces detain senior Sadrist during Maysan operation

    06/19/2008 1:40:50 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 4 replies · 94+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | June 19, 2008 1:04 PM | Bill Roggio
    The Iraqi security forces today formally kicked off the operations against the Mahdi Army in the southern province of Maysan. On the day the government's amnesty offer expired, the Iraqi Army and police conducted multiple raids throughout Amarah, the provincial capital. A senior Sadrist was detained during the raids. Iraqi forces arrested Rafeaa Jabar, the head of the Sadrist office in Maysan province. He is the mayor of Amarah and the deputy governor of the province. The Sadrists had stated they feared being the target of the operation. "We do not want Basrah events to be repeated in Amara," Sheikh...
  • Iraqi security forces ramp up for Maysan operation [Heading to Berlin!]

    06/17/2008 11:57:11 AM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 8 replies · 128+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 6/17/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi troops replace border guards. Local police forces are raised. Maliki gives deadline for Mahdi Army to disarm. Sadrists fear being targeted. The Iraqi government and military continue to shape the battlefield for the confrontation with the Mahdi Army in Maysan province. Starting late last week, Iraqi security forces started the operation by sealing off the entrances and exits to the province, deploying additional forces from Baghdad and Basrah, warning the population, starting patrols in Amarah, and relieving the provincial chief of police. Since then, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has ordered all wanted Mahdi Army fighters to turn themselves...
  • Iraq says deadline for Shiite fighters 'successful'

    06/19/2008 11:35:10 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies · 150+ views
    AFP ^ | June 18, 2008 | AFP
    AMARA, Iraq (AFP) — Dozens of Shiite militiamen surrendered to Iraqi forces on Wednesday hours before a deadline set by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for them to lay down their arms ahead of a new military crackdown.Officials said the four-day deadline given to the fighters in the southern oil rich province of Maysan was successful although some militants had escaped ahead of the crackdown set to begin at midnight (2100 GMT)."The deadline has been very successful. We have received many weapons, especially today," Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassem Mohammed told AFP.Mohammed said some militiamen had ran away before the start...
  • Iran on Its Heels: In Tehran's Setbacks, an Opportunity in Iraq

    06/19/2008 4:08:10 AM PDT · by shrinkermd · 4 replies · 99+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 19 June 2008 | Vali Nasr
    It was easy for Tehran to do both when a sectarian war united Shiites against a common Sunni enemy. But sectarian violence has largely ceased, and Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda are no longer imminent threats. Throughout 2007, militias challenged the government as they terrorized neighborhoods in southern Iraq, disrupting commerce and assassinating clerics as well as government and provincial officials. The Quds Force and its backers in Tehran expected the truce to hold, allowing Iran to continue to build militias while also supporting the Baghdad government. Ali Larijani, then head of Iran's Supreme Council for National Security (now the speaker...
  • Car Bomb Blamed on Iranian Backed Shias

    06/18/2008 7:03:25 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 3 replies · 200+ views
    TimesOnline - UK ^ | June 19, 2008
    Car Bomb Blamed on Iranian Backed Shias June 19, 2008 The US military has accused Iranian-backed Shia groups of setting off a car bomb that killed more than 60 people in a mainly Shia area of Baghdad, hinting at yet another new twist in the complex web of violence gripping the capital. “We believe the attack was not conducted by AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq],” said Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover, a US army spokesman, said. “Though vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices are a trademark of AQI, our intelligence, corroborated through multiple sources, is this atrocity was committed by a Special Groups cell led...
  • Sadr militia won't (can't) resist Iraq offensive (Smelling Victory in Iraq alert)

    06/18/2008 6:14:15 AM PDT · by xzins · 42 replies · 218+ views
    UPI.com ^ | 18 Jun 08
    AMARAH, Iraq, June 18 (UPI) -- Iraqi officials say radical Shiite militias have agreed to let the government retake control of provincial capital without a fight. Forces loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr have told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki they won't offer resistance when an expected offensive to take control of Amarah, capital of Maysan province, begins this week, USA Today reported Wednesday. In a change of strategy, the Iraqi government gave ample warning to Sadr's militia forces they were coming to retake the city, which until recently had been in control of the militants. An Iraqi military official...
  • Mahdi Army cell leader behind deadly Baghdad bombing (No ceasefire from Sadr and Iran)

    06/18/2008 8:09:14 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 18 replies · 143+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | June 18, 2008 8:31 AM | Bill Roggio
    Yesterday's car bomb attack in the Shia neighborhood of Hayy Hurriyah in Baghdad's Kadamiyah district was carried out by a Mahdi Army Special Group cell, and not al Qaeda in Iraq, the US military stated. The bombing was the largest inside Baghdad since March. The Iraqi military indicates 27 Iraqis were killed and 40 wounded, while press reports put the number killed as high as 51, with more than 80 wounded. A Mahdi Army cell leader named Haydar Mahdi Khadum Al Fawadi was behind the attack, according to intelligence information obtained by Multinational Forces Iraq. "We believe the attack was...
  • Iraq gives al-Mahdi militia deadline to surrender its weapons

    06/16/2008 8:16:12 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 12 replies · 126+ views
    The Times ^ | 6/17/2008 | James Hider in Baghdad
    Iraqi and US forces were poised to strike a key Shia militia stronghold in southern Iraq yesterday as Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, pushed ahead with his campaign to rid the country of al-Mahdi Army gunmen. A woman holds a portrait of the radical cleric Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr Iraqi army tanks, armoured troop carriers and infantrymen surrounded al-Amarah, a lawless tribal city near the Iranian border that is renowned for its smuggling rings. It once held a British base but the army was mortared so heavily by al-Mahdi Army irregulars that it withdrew to patrol the Iranian frontier. Mr al-Maliki...
  • US Army detains senior Mahdi Army commander in Baghdad

    06/14/2008 3:52:46 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 21 replies · 135+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | June 14, 2008 2:44 PM | Bill Roggio
    The US Army captured a senior Mahdi Army military commander in Baghdad. The Mahdi Army commander led a 2,000-man strong brigade in the Karadah district in eastern Baghdad, Multinational Forces Iraq reported. The US military could not release the commander’s name as they are still exploiting the intelligence information related to his capture, Major Joey Sullinger, a public affairs officer for Multinational Division Baghdad told The Long War Journal. The commander was detained during a raid in the Sumer al Ghadier neighborhood in the New Baghdad district, which borders Karadah to the north. US soldiers from the 66th Armor Regiment...
  • Iraqi offensive underway against the Mahdi Army in Maysan ( Iran Border crossing closed )

    06/14/2008 3:37:25 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 12 replies · 166+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | June 14, 2008 10:10 AM | Bill Roggio
    An Iraqi tank is stationed on the main road leading into Amarah. AFP photo. Iraqi security forces, backed by the US military, have started an operation against the Mahdi Army in the southern border province of Maysan. Amarah, the provincial capital of Maysan, is thought to be one of the locations senior Mahdi Army leader retreated to after Iraqi forces moved into Sadr City last month. Amarah is also a forward command and control hub for Iranian operations in southern Iraq. Iraqi security forces established checkpoints along the entrances to the province, and have closed down the border crossing...
  • Al-Sadr calls for restraint from his militia (Loser knows he has lost)

    06/13/2008 8:49:40 AM PDT · by Mikey_1962 · 4 replies · 105+ views
    AP ^ | 6-13-08 | Mikey_1962
    Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called for restraint in an apparent bid to exert control over his Mahdi Army militia fighters. A statement read after Friday prayers in the holy city of Kufa says the Shiite militia will continue to resist U.S.-led forces in Iraq but fighting should be limited to a select group. He says "weapons will be in the hands of this group exclusively and will only be directed at the occupier," using standard rhetoric for the American forces in Iraq. He warns those who disobey will be "disowned by me."
  • Treaty tensions mount as Iraq tells the US it wants all troops back in barracks

    06/09/2008 9:38:41 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 58 replies · 281+ views
    The Times (UK) ^ | June 9, 2008 | Deborah Haynes in Baghdad
    Several thousand demonstrators protested against the US in rallies across the country on Friday. The placard says: ’No agreement with US occupiers’ American troops in Iraq would be confined to their bases and private security guards subject to local law if Iraq gets its way in negotiations with the US over the future status of American forces. According to a senior Iraqi official, the negotiations between the two allies became so fraught recently that President Bush intervened personally to defuse the situation. On Thursday he telephoned Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, to assure him that Washington was not seeking...
  • Iraqi PM begins talks in Tehran

    06/07/2008 9:44:27 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 6 replies · 85+ views
    BBC ^ | Saturday, 7 June 2008 00:28 UK 23:28 GMT, | BBC Staff
    Iraqi PM begins talks in Tehran The Mehdi Army has fought bitter battles in recent months Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is in Iran for talks aimed at improving relations between the two neighbours. He is expected to raise allegations of Iranian support for Shia militants in Iraq when he meets with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Shia militiamen fought bitter battles with US and Iraqi government forces between March and May. Also on the agenda are the ongoing US-Iraqi talks over the two countries' future, long-term relationship. Mr Maliki is on his third visit to Iran since taking office in...
  • Words of War-Victor Davis Hanson tells us what he's learned , what historians will take away

    05/29/2008 4:41:38 AM PDT · by SJackson · 33 replies · 380+ views
    FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | May 29, 2008 | Bill Steigerwald
    Victor Davis Hanson, a former classics professor, is a renowned conservative scholar of ancient history and military affairs who's recently become a nationally syndicated columnist and blogger. The author of 17 books with titles like "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War," "An Autumn of War" and "Mexifornia: A State of Becoming," he is the senior fellow in residence in classics and military history at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus. Hanson, whose scholarship and interest in individual freedom recently earned him a 2008 Bradley Prize worth $250,000 from the Bradley...
  • "Key" Special Groups financier captured south of Baghdad

    05/29/2008 9:58:47 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 22 replies · 61+ views
    Coalition Special Operations Forces captured a "key Special Groups financier" with direct links to Iran's Qods Force in the city of Mahmudiyah on May 28. "He is suspected to be the primary financier between Iranian intelligence elements and Special Groups criminals in Mahmudiyah and southern Baghdad and was reportedly distributing funds to weapons smugglers supplying criminals in those areas," Multinational Forces Iraq reported in a press release. The Special Groups financier has conducted his activities outside Iraq, according to Multinational Forces Iraq. He is "believed to travel to Iran and Syria to procure funds on behalf of Special Groups senior...
  • IRAQ: The Mahdi Army Is Losing Its Luster

    05/28/2008 1:41:08 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies · 80+ views
    Weekly Standard ^ | May 27, 2008 07:20 PM | Bill Roggio
    A common narrative about the war in Iraq is that fighting against the enemy in urban environments creates more insurgents, thus it is fruitless to even try. But today's Los Angeles Times finally asked Iraqis in Sadr City what they think about the recent fighting and how it impacts their views of the Mahdi Army. The answer: The Mahdi Army has lost significant support from not only residents caught in the crossfire, but from Mahdi Army fighters themselves. In fact, some Mahdi Army fighters were so discouraged by the recent fighting that they vowed to never join the ranks again....
  • Iraqi Army clashes with Mahdi Army in eastern Baghdad (Success in Iraq! Obama's worst nightmare.)

    05/28/2008 1:23:51 PM PDT · by elhombrelibre · 13 replies · 77+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 28 May 08 | Bill Roggio
    Iraqi Army clashes with Mahdi Army in eastern Baghdad By Bill RoggioMay 28, 2008 4:01 PM Iraqi Special Operations Forces prepare for a mission near Amarah to disrupt weapons smuggling and trafficking from Iran and help to set the condition for broader stability in the region. (US Navy photo / Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel R. Mennuto) Iraqi and Coalition security forces continue to press operations against the Mahdi Army in Baghdad. Iraqi security forces clashed with the Mahdi Army in eastern Baghdad as raids against Mahdi Army weapons caches continue in Sadr city and throughout Baghdad. Iraqi security forces...
  • Al Qaeda Discusses Losing Iraq

    05/27/2008 3:33:52 PM PDT · by Dawnsblood · 69 replies · 185+ views
    Strategy Page ^ | 5/27/08
    Al Qaeda web sites are making a lot of noise about "why we lost in Iraq." Western intelligence agencies are fascinated by the statistics being posted in several of these Arab language sites. Not the kind of stuff you read about in the Western media. According to al Qaeda, their collapse in Iraq was steep and catastrophic. According to their stats, in late 2006, al Qaeda was responsible for 60 percent of the terrorist attacks, and nearly all the ones that involved killing a lot of civilians. The rest of the violence was carried out by Iraqi Sunni Arab groups,...
  • Iraqis losing patience with militiamen ( Sadr's Mahdi Army militia has provided services but...)

    05/27/2008 2:25:18 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 15 replies · 84+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 27, 2008 | Tina Susman and Usama Redha, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
    Muqtada Sadr's Mahdi Army militia has provided services and protection to residents, but fighting in recent weeks has endangered their lives. BAGHDAD -- Four summers ago, when militiamen loyal to hard-line Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr were battling U.S. forces in the holy city of Najaf, Mohammed Lami was among them. "I had faith. I believed in something," Lami said of his days hoisting a gun for Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. "Now, I will never fight with them." Lami is no fan of U.S. troops, but after fleeing Baghdad's Sadr City district with his family last month, when militiamen arrived...
  • Iran 'Paid Iraq Insurgents to Kill UK Soldiers'

    05/25/2008 6:47:59 AM PDT · by kellynla · 21 replies · 92+ views
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | 25/05/2008 | Sean Rayment
    Iran has secretly paid Iraqi insurgents hundreds of thousands of American dollars to kill British soldiers, according to a leaked government document obtained by The Telegraph. The allegations are contained in a confidential "field report" written by a British officer who served in Basra during one of the most dangerous periods of the conflict. The report, which has never been made public, shows the full level of Iran's involvement in the insurgency for the first time. The document states that the Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) – also known as the Mahdi Army – one of the most violent insurgent groups operating...
  • Iraqi Army dismantles Mahdi Army caches in Sadr City

    05/24/2008 10:35:40 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 26 replies · 87+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | May 24, 2008 12:05 PM | Bill Roggio
    US Army Major Carter Price meets with Brigadier General Sameed, the commander of the 22nd Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, at the Office of the Martyr Sadr in the Shula neighborhood of northern Gazaliyah in Baghdad on May 15, 2008. The Office of the Martyr Sadr build was taken over by the Iraqi army after the MAhdi Army used it to conduct and direct attacks. (US Army photo / Specialist Charles W. Gill) Less than one week after pushing into the northern two-thirds of Sadr City from the walled southern neighborhoods, the Iraqi Army is uncovering substantial weapons caches...
  • Lawmakers loyal to al-Sadr denounce Iraqi gov't ("black clouds" on the horizon for truces)

    05/24/2008 9:28:50 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 6 replies · 344+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/24/08 | Hamid Ahmed - ap
    BAGHDAD - Lawmakers loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused the Iraqi government of trying to crush the movement and warned Saturday of "black clouds" on the horizon for truces that have eased fighting between al-Sadr's militia and security forces. The Sadrist Movement has heightened its rhetoric against the government in recent days, raising concerns over the cease-fires in the southern city of Basra and Baghdad's Sadr City district, the stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. Still, the lawmakers and other al-Sadr officials said they are adhering to the truces. The cease-fires are crucial to Iraqi security forces' sweeps in...
  • US military killed Mahdi Army commander Arkan Hasnawi in May 3 strike [Sniff]

    05/21/2008 2:02:49 PM PDT · by Tennessean4Bush · 21 replies · 53+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 5/21/2008 | Bill Roggio
    Arkan Hasnawi. Click the image to view wanted the Mahdi Army leaders in Baghdad. The US military killed a senior member of the Mahdi Army, according US and Mahdi Army sources. Arkan Hasnawi, a senior lieutenant of the Mahdi Army commander in Sadr City, was killed in a guided rocket strike in Sadr City on March 3. The news of Hasnawi's death comes as details emerge on the senior leadership of the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and the blurring of the lines between Sadr's militia and the Special Groups. Hasnawi was among several senior Mahdi Army leaders killed or...
  • Iraqi: 'I killed her with a machine gun' (Mookie run Basra nightmares)

    05/21/2008 8:58:29 AM PDT · by old-and-old · 20 replies · 175+ views
    www.cnn.com ^ | www.cnn.com
    BASRA, Iraq (CNN) -- The man, blindfolded and handcuffed, crouches in the corner of the detention center while an Iraqi soldier grills him about rampant crimes being carried out by gangs in the southern city of Basra. "How many girls did you kill and rape?" the soldier asks. "I raped one, sir," the man responds. "What was her name?" "Ahlam," he says. Ahlam was a university student in the predominantly Shiite city of Basra. The detainee said the gang he was in kidnapped her as she was leaving the university, heading home. "They forced me, and I killed her with...
  • Operation in Sadr City Is an Iraqi Success, So Far (Breaking, NY Times calls Iraq a success)

    05/21/2008 10:57:27 AM PDT · by tobyhill · 15 replies · 79+ views
    NY Times ^ | 5/21/2008 | MICHAEL R. GORDON and ALISSA J. RUBIN
    BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces rolled unopposed through the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City on Tuesday, a dramatic turnaround from the bitter fighting that has plagued the Baghdad neighborhood for two months, and a qualified success for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. As it did in the southern city of Basra last month, the Iraqi government advanced its goal of establishing sovereignty and curtailing the powers of the militias. This was a hopeful accomplishment, but one that came with caveats: In both cities, the militias eventually melted away in the face of Iraqi troops backed by American firepower. Thus nobody...
  • Now Come The Horror Stories Of Mahdi Army Atrocities

    05/21/2008 10:51:25 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies · 173+ views
    Strata Sphere ^ | May 21 2008 | AJStrata
    There are some very naive and delusional liberals who still think the Iraq government victory over the Mahdi Army criminals is actually a victory for Sadr and his Sadrists movement.  But they are simply grasping at straws so they do not have to face how pathetically wrong they have been on the Maliki action itself, the war in Iraq and the war on terror generally.  The fact is the Sadrists and al-Sadr gave political cover for heinous crimes commited by the Mahdi Islamo Fascists as they raped and killed their fellow Muslims.  Once Basra and Sadr City were liberated it...
  • Al-Mahdi army leader, 2 aides detained in Karbala

    05/08/2008 10:26:01 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 2 replies · 97+ views
    aswataliraq ^ | Thursday , 08 /05 /2008 Time 11:07:51 | Karbala - Voices of Iraq
    Karbala, May 8, (VOI) - Security forces on Thursday arrested leader of Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s al-Mahdi army’s special brigades and two of his aides during a security raid in central Karbala, a security official in Karbala said. Security forces detained the leader of al-Mahdi army’s special brigades, based on intelligence tips pointing to his presence inside a house in central Karbala,” Maj. General Raed Shakir Jawdat, Karbala police and operations chief, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).“The forces cordoned off the region and arrested two of his aides, including a policeman who provides the armed group’s...
  • Mahdi Commander Admits Iranian Support

    05/06/2008 12:10:09 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies · 62+ views
    Strata Sphere ^ | May 6th, 2008 | AJStrata
    It had to happen sooner or later - the Mahdi Forces have started to openly admit they are getting support from Iran in their fight against the elected government of Iraq and the US forces supporting it: Abu Baqr, now a commander in the Mahdi Army militia of cleric Muqtada Sadr, blames Iran for what happened to his friend more than 20 years ago during Iraq’s war with Iran, just as he blames Saddam Hussein for that conflict.He still hates Iran. But now, he said, he accepts its weapons to fight the U.S. military, figuring he can deal with his...