Al-Sadr Refuses To Give Into Iraqi Government
In the violence that is erupting in Basra, in the southern part of Iraq, the lives of almost 300 people have been claimed in the clashes between government troops and the Shiite Muslim militants that are led by the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has a strong anti-American stance.
Earlier today, targets in Basra were struck. It was a combined effort of United States warplanes and British artillery.
A recent analysis had said that the Iraqi troops were not doing as well in fighting against the Mehdi Army, which is made up of Shiite militants that are loyal to Al-Sadr. US and British troops have come forth to lend their assistance.
As the curfew over Baghdad was to be lifted on Sunday morning, further violence has caused it to be extended indefinitely.
Nuri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Iraq had compared the Mehdi Army to Al-Qaeda. Currently, he is personally leading the operation against the forces led by al-Sadr. In an ironic note, 40 members of the national police joined forces with Al-Sadr. To add to the irony, these ex-officers had taken their US-provided weapon with them as well.
The Iraq war has been the main platform of US Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain said that Iraq is what will make or break his candidacy. However, critics have said that McCain has focused too much on Iraq.
With what’s going on in Basra, it could be used as ammunition against McCain in the general election.
Recently, the attack on the US protected Green Zone which is the fortified International Zone caused the death toll of US troops to reach its 4,000 mark. It was days after the fifth year anniversary of the war in Iraq.
A recent study by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, the price of Iraq costs at least $12 billion a year. He said the overall cost of Iraq could be at least over $3 trillion.
Two US senators have also requested a congressional inquiry into Iraq’s oil revenues. So far, the cost of reconstruction in Iraq has come out of the pockets of US taxpayers. The reconstruction for Iraq has been slow. In a letter, the two senators explain that Iraq should be able to use its oil revenues to continue rebuilding the country itself. While Iraq has money in banks across the world, it has done little for the reconstruction.
A recent Pentagon study revealed that the main cause of the slow reconstruction is corruption.
Tags: Iraq , Al-sadr , Shiite
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