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Sunday, March 30, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Iraqi cleric calls off militias

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has ordered his fighters off the streets of Basra and other cities in an effort to end clashes with security forces.

He said in a statement that his movement wanted the Iraqi people to stop the bloodshed and maintain the nation’s independence and stability.

[...]

Moqtada Sadr’s statement said: “Because of the religious responsibility, and to stop Iraqi blood being shed, and to maintain the unity of Iraq and to put an end to this sedition that the occupiers and their followers want to spread among the Iraqi people, we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces.

“Anyone carrying a weapon and targeting government institutions will not be one of us.”

What exactly this all means, however, is rather unclear at the moment. If anything, it may demonstrate that Sadr has more influence over the situation than does Prime Minister Maliki. And inded, perhaps that’s the point.

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2 Responses to “Sadr Tells Militia to Stop Fighting”

  1. Pros and Cons » On Basra and Sadr City Says:

    [...] Baghdad seems governed by a truce, but Basra, well, maybe Maliki is still taking Basra. That might be the best of all possible worlds, avoiding civilian carnage in Iraq’s most densely populated area, Sadr City, while crushing the Mahdists where they actually excercise real power. The picture, despite an offical truce, remains muddled though, since it isn’t over by a long shot, with the first NPR link also containing this depressing informtion: But well-informed Iraqi political officials said the Iranians played a key role in hammering out the peace deal, boosting the Islamic Republic’s influence among the majority Shiite community. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. [...]

  2. Pros and Cons » We and the Iraqis aren’t letting up in Basra - looks like I am getting my wish -UPDATED with I See Why They Backed Down Says:

    [...] part that reminds me (see his appearances in our comments or here and here, even here, for why) of the benign, thoughtful, and, on Iraq, wrong Dr. Taylor/Poliblogger is “As for [...]


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