Jaysh al-Mehdi calls for end to US and British Occupation
March 31, 2008 § Leave a comment
Iraqi soldiers hand over their weapons to a follower of Muqtada al-Sadr in Sadr City in Baghdad. (Al-Hayat via Informed Comment.)
The recent fighting in Iraq between Iraqi security forces and Jaysh al-Mehdi has laid bare many alliances and foe-ships. I can’t offer any analysis on this web of complex relationships and motives, but here are some reports from Arabic sources on what’s happening on the ground.
Al-Hayat reports that according to official accounts, 275 have been killed and over 500 injured in the past week of violence. PM Nuri al-Maliki has renewed his commitment to fight Jaysh al-Mehdi until the end, but supporters of Sadr say that they refuse “to hand over any weapons unless the government banishes the Occupation.” Similar sentiments have been echoed by Shaykh Zahir al-Khafaji, the military leader of the Jaysh al-Mehdi in Najaf: “Handing over weapons is impossible until the occupation has left the country.”
From these reports, the demands of Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers are clear: The US and British occupation must end.
Al-Hayat also notes that the US Military has deepened their involvement in the conflict in by launching several air strikes in Basra and Sadr City. These strikes have led to the deaths and injuries of dozens of people. (Al-Hayat)
Image of a demonstration of Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers form al-Jazeera.