May 07 2008

Iraqi Doubles Down Against Mahdi Militia

Published by at 5:14 pm under All General Discussions,Iran,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

All indications are that Iraq is preparing for a final, two-pronged push against the Mahdi Militia in Iraq. The first prong is on the political front with legislation that will outlaw political organizations which support armed militias:

Iraq’s parliament has begun debating a bill on provincial elections that will ban any party from competing in the Oct. 1 polls if they have a militia.

If the law passes, as is expected, it could spark a major showdown with Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose movement should do well in the elections but who has refused to disarm his Mehdi Army militia despite an order from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to do so.

The provincial elections law was presented to parliament on Tuesday. It should be debated in the next 1-2 weeks.

I can’t see how anyone can be against this effort, no matter what side of the Iraq war issue one is on. The fact is parties that support armed insurgents cannot be allowed to participate in the very democratic process their fighters are trying to destroy. It is clear the Iraqis have had it with armed Islamo Fascists and are going to go full bore towards a peaceful and lawful democracy.

The second front is of course escalating the removal of armed groups inside Baghdad and across the country. While it may seem the fighting in Sadr City has been tough it is about to get a lot tougher – for the Mahdi Militia trained and armed by Iranians:

The authorities in Baghdad say they are preparing for an exodus of thousands of people from eastern parts of the city.

Fighting between government and US troops on one side, and Shia militia on the other, has intensified recently.

Two football stadiums are on stand-by to receive residents from two neighbourhoods in the Sadr City area.
The government has warned of an imminent push to clear the areas of members of the Mehdi Army, loyal to the anti-American cleric, Moqtada Sadr.

In the last seven weeks around 1,000 people have died, and more than 2,500 others have been injured, most of them civilians.

The fighting so far in Sadr City has been fierce – street to street, and house to house.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is showing a determination to disarm the country’s Shia militia groups – particularly the Mehdi Army – that he has never displayed before.

Maliki and the US must see the light at the end of the tunnel to broadcast this final push so publicly. It makes sense. After weeks of pushing the fighters into an ever shrinking area inside Sadr City at some point you decide to go in and clean out the hornets nest once and for all. Clearly that time is approaching.

It is also clear that Baghdad is not the only area of interest, as actions are ramping up in many areas of Iraq which still have terrorists and militia forces:

At least 22 people died Wednesday in a fresh bout of violence in Iraq, including eight people in a US strike on Baghdad’s Shia enclave of Sadr City, while the police found rockets in a big weapons cache in the south. At least eight people were killed and 13 injured Wednesday when US aircraft bombed positions of the Mahdi Army militia in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, according to witnesses.

Iraqi special forces backed by US troops conducted operations in the area “to reduce special groups’ criminal activity”, the US military said in a statement Wednesday.

Special groups is the term the military used to describe Iranian- backed Shia militiamen.

Seven suspected militiamen were arrested during the operation Tuesday.

The military said its aircraft destroyed gunmen’s positions in Sadr City Tuesday but could not ascertain whether people were killed or injured in the strike.

In south-east Baghdad, police killed eight gunmen during a raid in Amin district, General Qasim Atta, the spokesman for the Baghdad operations, told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.

Police discovered a big weapon cache on a farm north of Karbala, 110 km south of Baghdad, VOI quoted the city police chief, General Raid Shakir, as saying.

The cache, which was buried about five metres underground, contained 25 SBG-9 rockets, 25 rocket launch pads and other weapons.

These weapons caches are typically being discovered based on tips from locals, so as they continue to be discovered it is easy to extrapolate that the Iraq Muslim Street is turning on the militia more and more. There is no popular uprising in support of Sadr’s Mahdi thugs, which is another indication Maliki is more than likely to succeed in his efforts to clean house and stabilize his country.

Other interesting reads include:

Bill Ardolino’s report at Long War Journal on efforts to take out the Iranian backed “Special Groups”.


MEMRI has an interview with a senior Iraqi official who states Syria and Iran are behind most of the terrorism in and from the ME.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Iraqi Doubles Down Against Mahdi Militia”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Pay attention to what is going on with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran might soon find itself in a “two front” war. With the Lebanese government nearing a belly full of Hezbollah and the Iraqi leadership nearing a belly full of JAM, Iran might find themselves having to support two hot wars at the same time. Then any damage to the Revolutionary Guards infrastructure would be critical and potentially disastrous for the Iranians.

    Time to go pick up some popcorn, things are getting ready to get very interesting.

  2. robert verdi says:

    Its amazing how interconnected our and Iraq’s enemies are. The Alawites in Syria, Shia Iran, Hezbollah, North Korea. Of course Democrats and the left talk about how meanigless Iraq is, its amazing how much these other countries and groups care. Its clear they are afraid of the future and attempting to forestall their own destruction by destroying Iraq. They will fail.

  3. robert verdi says:

    Off topic but important

    Former Guantánamo Detainee Tied to Attack
    Published: May 8, 2008
    BAGHDAD — A former Kuwaiti detainee at the United States prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was one of the bombers in a string of deadly suicide attacks in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul last month, the American military said Wednesday

  4. […] As I posted yesterday the Iraqi government is preparing for a final thrust into Sadr City to clear out Mahdi Militia thugs who have been hiding and using weapons amongst the people living there in order to attack the Iraqi government and US forces: raqi soldiers for the first time warned residents in the embattled Sadr City district to leave their houses Thursday, signaling a new push by the U.S.-backed forces against Shiite extremist who have been waging street battles for seven weeks. […]