Sunday, March 26, 2006

US stages two raids on Iraqi Shiite locations controlled by al-Sadr's Mehdi militia

US forces staged two raids today on Iraqi Shiite locations – a Sadrist mosque in and another secret interior ministry prison.

20 members of Radical cleric Moqtada Sadr’s Mehdi militiamen were killed when they tried to stop US troops from entering the Mustafa mosque in East Baghdad to roust out terrorists.

In another part of Baghdad, American and Iraqi forces arrested 41 Interior Ministry officers after 17 foreign prisoners the Shiites were guarding in a secret bunker complex were found and released. They were being secretly held in conditions similar to the Interior Ministry secret prison discovered last November with 173 most Sunni inmates. The Shiites accuse their foreign prisoners of being Sunni al Qaeda fighters against Americans and Shiites...well, maybe they were.

Saturday, US ambassador Salmay Khalilzad said the Shiite sectarian militias like the Mehdi Army must be eliminated if Iraq is to have a unity government and avert civil war. Since that would leave the Shiites defenseless and since Moqtada Sadr and the Mehdi Army militia is now backed by Iran, their voluntary `elimination' is highly unlikely.

Oddly enough, Sadr could have been easily taken out after the invasion of Falujah..but somehow that didn't happen.

Sadr himself was just in Teheran, where he met with the head of the ruling Council of Guardians, Khomani. It's pretty obvious to me that Iran is setting up a bloc consisting of its proxys in Iraq like Sadr, Hezbollah in Labanon, Syria and its new friend, Hamas. And as Iran involves itself increasingly in Iraq, American and Israeli military options for striking Iran's nuclear installations correspondingly shrink.

1 comment:

Dan Zaremba said...

I can't understand why they tolerate this scoundrel.
Perhaps he serves a purpose (for someone in one of the current ruling faction in Iraq).