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Iraqi Cleric Fears U.S. Troop Surge: Calls for Unification

by D. E. Carson (writer), , April 09, 2007

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has given the order to all of his militia to pump up efforts to get American troops out of Iraq. In a statement released on Sunday, al-Sadr has described Americans as the

The statement bearing his seal was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf and chastised Iraqi army and police for working with American troops. The statement said, "don't walk along side the occupiers, because they are your archenemy." It also told his followers that "god has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them -- not the sons of Iraq" meaning his followers should not attack each other.

U.S. intelligence believes that al-Sadr is in Iran attempting to avoid the security crack-down recently implemented by US and Iraqi forces. His whereabouts are not exactly known, however, his followers maintain he is still in Iraq.

In a response to the statement, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the troop build up in Iraq is actually working in spite of contradictions from many Democratic leaders in Congress. "He is acknowledging that the surge is working," Lieberman said Sunday. Further proof of the effectiveness came Sunday in the form of U.S. forces capturing an unnamed senior al-Qaeda leader and two other members in a Baghdad raid on Sunday. The al-Qaeda leader was described as "the gatekeeper to the al-Qaida emir of Baghdad". The leader has been linked to numerous car bombings in Baghdad.

Additional signs of the stabilization of Iraq also came on Sunday as British forces turned over a military base in Basra to Iraqi forces. The switch was signaled by the hoisting of the Iraqi flag over the garrison. The Basra turnover is the second such operation in the past month.



About the Writer

D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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