Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunni parliamentarian: "Sadr City attacks are killing mostly unarmed civilians" (UPDATED)

A member of the Iraqi Accord Front (biggest Sunni bloc in parliament) Ahmed Radhi, who was in Sadr City on Sunday as part of the multi-party sit-in, repeated yesterday the call to implement the group's demands for an end to the crisis, and he said: "The majority of those who are being killed are civilians, and not armed persons."

And another Sunni deputy, Mustafa al-Heeti, from the Iraqi Dialogue Front, said at a press conference with other members of that group: "I urge an end to the military operations, an adoption of the language of dialogue, and an prompt meeting of the council (government executive committee, the so-called three plus one) in order to end the military operations."

Both statements are reported by Aswat al Iraq.

Rather than any easing, there was a dramatic escalation in military operations in Sadr City, where US forces intervened in one case with Abrams tanks, killing 22, and in another case with airstrikes killing 16. (See this summary in AlHayat, among many other accounts). *

And at the same time, the GreenZone and US accusations against Iran have taken on a new stridency. For instance, AlHayat reminds readers that US officials have said the Sadr City campaign is against "special groups" of criminals that are supported by Iran. And here's how Azzaman leads its main story this morning: "Armed groups linked to Iran took advangage of the bad weather for the third time, launching a round of self-propelled Katyusha rockets at various locations in the Green Zone..."

So along with (1) signs of domestic political solidarity against the attacks on Sadr City; and (2) dramatic military escalation in Sadr City; there is also (3) a sharper framing of this as a struggle between Iraq on the one side, and Iranian proxies on the other.

It's worth trying to keep the overall picture in mind, because there is a tendency not only in the corporate media, but in the Washington-based commentary as well, to talk exclusively about the third point, to the almost complete exclusion of the first two. As if America, politically and militarily, was some kind of a passive bystander.


* Update to Tuesday evening Baghdad time: VOI quotes a medical source who said in the period from 11 am to 6 pm Tuesday April 29, US forces shelled sectors 10 and 11 of Sadr City, causing 24 deaths and 60 injuries. The medical source said most of the victims were women and children. And everyone is silent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And at the same time, the GreenZone and US accusations against Iran have taken on a new stridency. For instance, AlHayat reminds readers that US officials have said the Sadr City campaign is against "special groups" of criminals that are supported by Iran.

the US and their puppets should get their stories straight.


The Sadrists are our brothers, my arms will alway remain open to them. They have sacrificed a lot in the name of the great Sadr and the Mahdi. I am not against the Sadrists or Muqtada Al-Sadr, I am against the gang/criminal elements inside the Sadrists. They have been infiltrated by members of the previous regime, by Saddamists, and they need to purify their ranks. These Saddamists are the ones who are making alliance with the smugglers and gangs in Basrah. I want the constitution to be applied against these gangs. Muqtada Al-Sadr needs to purify these criminal elements from his ranks. But the Sadrists are our brothers and will remain our brothers.


10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today the Americans fired rockets from ground artillery and hit civilians in Sadr City, killing dozens and injuring scores. We continue to hear from time to time that "the situation is calming down" and then all of a sudden it bursts again worse than ever, it has been more than a month of clashes and life for those inside the district is hell.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reports of negotiations to launch a joint uprising between Islamic Army and Mahdi Army.


Massacre by Iraqi Security Forces near Nassiriya in Suq al-Siyuqh, happened several days ago. Heard something similar from Numaniya.


1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

horrid update


1:58 PM  
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10:49 PM  

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