Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Iraq occupation: We just attacked Karbala 

While Bush was talking on TV? Well, probably the timing wasn't that good.

The American military launched its first major assault against insurgents led by Moktada al-Sadr, a rebel Shiite cleric, striking early this morning at militia enclaves in this holy Shiite city and in another city in southern Iraq in an effort to retake control of those areas.

The coordinated attacks here and in Diwaniya began hours after powerful Shiite politicians and religious leaders met in Baghdad to urge Mr. Sadr to withdraw his militia from the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. Now that the occupation forces have restored a veneer of calm to the volatile city of Falluja, they are upping the military and political pressure on the 31-year-old cleric. In early April, Mr. Sadr ignited a Shiite uprising throughout central and southern Iraq as marines were invading Falluja to root out a mostly Sunni Muslim insurgency there.

The American assault today took place in a neighborhood southwest of the holy shrines. Town leaders did not raise a furor, and dozens of families stood outside their homes watching the convoy as it rolled toward the battle site. American commanders said they were trying to make precise attacks so as not to incur the wrath of the Shiites, who make up at least 60 percent of the population of Iraq.
(via NY Times)

Well, I just hope they got Sistani's OK ....

corrente SBL - New Location
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The Washington Chestnut
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