He's back: According to Muqtada al-Sadr, the man long labeled

the 'radical Shiite cleric' by U.S. media, if U.S. forces arent out

of the country by this coming December, his 'Promised Day

Brigade' would take up arms against them.

 

 

Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran

Sadrists to Take Up Arms If U.S. Remains in Iraq

 

If U.S. forces remain in Iraq past the agreed-upon December 31, 2011 deadline, will the forces of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rise again? According to this news item from Iran's state-run Kayhan, al-Sadr's spokesperson has warned, 'If the American troops remain in Iraq ... We will do our best to press our message and if needed, increase the number of our fighters to kill them."

 

July 11, 2011

 

Islamic Republic of Iran - Kayhan - Home Page (English)

TEHRAN: The movement of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says if Washington fails to honor an agreement requiring it to withdraw all of its forces from Iraq by December 31, 2011, it would again take up arms against U.S. forces.

 

"We will do our best to refuse these troops ... by protests and by military efforts," Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for the Sadr movement, told Press TV on Sunday. According to al-Obeidi, Muqtada al-Sadr himself said, "We will not lay down our weapons if the Americans remain in Iraq after 2011. Obeidi went on, "If the American troops remain in Iraq ... We will do our best to press our message and if needed, increase the number of our fighters to kill them," said.

 

In a statement posted on his Web site on Saturday, Sadr said that his fighters of the "Promised Day Brigade" would remain at the forefront of resistance to U.S. forces that remain beyond the scheduled pullout date.

 

But Sadr also said that even if U.S. troops remained, he is "freezing the activities of the Mahdi Army."

 

"Because of the criminal acts that were committed - or may be committed (by people claiming to be members of the Mahdi Army), I have decided to limit any military action to members of the Promised Day Brigade," he said.

 

Sadr formed the Promised Day Brigade in November 2008 to battle U.S. forces.

 

On Saturday, Iraqs coalition government again failed to decide on whether to ask U.S. forces to remain beyond December - leaving the Obama Administration with an ever-shorter timetable to complete the withdrawal or manage the political fallout if the U.S. remains.

 

Iraq President Jalal Talabani, who had called together all political blocs for the second time in recent weeks, said he has given all parties another two weeks to discuss the issue.

 

Although the Iraqi administration has informally suggested leaving something like 10,000 U.S. troops out of the 46,000 still there, such estimates remain "guesswork," a senior U.S. military official said.

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Al-Sadr and Al-Maliki: More Shiite or Iraqi?

Financial Times, U.K.: Maliki Gives Iran and U.S Joint Cause

Kitabat, Iraq: Letting Iraq Collapse Will Spell Disaster for U.S.

Kitabat, Iraq: 'Render Unto Caesar What is Caesar's'

Azzaman, Iraq: Iraqi Democracy Has Been 'Assassinated'

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraqis Need Patriotism, Not Americans Troops!

La Stampa, Italy: The War in Iraq: America's 'Seven Inglorious Years'

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraqis Must 'Take to Streets' to Demand a Presidential System

El Pais, Spain: U.S. Ends War it Couldn't Win; Leaves Behind Ruined Nation

Kitabat, Iraq: Iraq is Our Country!!!

The Telegraph, U.K.: Top Army Officer Warns Iraq Not Ready Until 2020

The Independent, U.K.: U.S. Troops Say Goodbye to Iraq

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Iraq is 'Half Built with the Roof Off'

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Fears Rise as U.S.-Backed Fighters Defect to al-Qaeda

Debka File, Iraq: U.S. Ends Iraq War, Leaves Two Civil Wars 'On the Boil'

Debka File, Israel: Combat Between U.S. and Iran Looms in Iraq
Kitabat, Iraq: America's 'Promise': To Leave Iraq in a State of Civil War
Kitabat, Iraq: Wake Up Iraqis!: The Americans Never Intend to Withdraw!

Kitabat, Iraq: America's War: From One Dictatorship to Another
Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Details on Scientist's Death Expose 'Zionist Jail' in Iraq

Iraq News Agency: Chalabi Tells General Odierno: 'Mind Your Business'

Iraq News Agency: U.S. 'Pullout' Resembles Israeli Retreats from Gaza

 

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The U.S. official, one of several who discussed the sensitive issue on condition of anonymity, said the Iraqis havent "come to a consensus on what they might need" in terms of the operations they want the Americans to undertake. Until they do, he said, the Americans are unable to calculate "how many troops that might require."

 

White House officials said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has told some of his own officials that President Obama wanted to leave as many as 30,000 troops. Some U.S. officials have concluded that Iraqis may not manage to agree on the subject before the last U.S. troops are scheduled to leave.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

The indecision complicates an already vexing problem for Obama.

 

Despite his pledge of complete withdrawal, the administration has made clear its willingness to continue training, air defense, intelligence and reconnaissance, as well as joint counterterrorism missions with Iraqi forces. Fifteen U.S. troops were killed in Iraq last month, the highest level in two years; and two more were killed by a roadside bomb on Thursday.

 

The longer Iraqis take to decide, the less time Obama has to explain the importance of preserving a presence to the American public, and the more he risks clouding his election-year message that he oversaw the end of the Iraq War.

 

Apart from politics, the military has grown increasingly impatient. Until Obama decides otherwise, military orders are for a complete withdrawal by the end of December.

 

"The point at which we have flexibility is fast diminishing," one military official said. The president can change his orders at any time, he said, but the later that happens, the more logistical cost and stress there will be.

 

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 11, 7:33pm]

 







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