Battles flare as insurgents vow resistance

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Baghdad, Conflicts And War, Fallujah, Iraq Views: 3098
3098

A U.S. Army Bradley vehicle patrols through the impoverished Baghdad suburb of Sadr City April 6, 2004

Najaf: Militiamen loyal to radical Shi'a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr fought gun battles with foreign troops in southern Iraq on Tuesday, with their leaders vowing to resist the United States-led occupation.

The US has vowed to arrest Sadr, accused of leading a wave of bloody confrontations with US-led occupation forces.

But his supporters vowed on Tuesday to fight until occupying troops left populated areas and prisoners were released.

Fighting between his followers and Italian troops in Nassiriya killed around 15 Iraqis and in the town of Kut witnesses said two Ukrainian armored vehicles were in flames.

Sadr's militia, known as the Mehdi Army, has held violent protests and launched attacks in several Iraqi cities in recent days to protest the detention of one of his aides and the closure of a militant newspaper by US-led authorities.

"This insurrection shows that the Iraqi people are not satisfied with the occupation and they will not accept oppression," said a statement from the cleric, which an aide read at a news conference in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf.

The US army said three more American soldiers had been killed in the Shi'a areas of Baghdad.

Heavy fighting was also reported in the Sunni Muslim towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, west of Baghdad, as US Marines mounted a major operation to root out guerrillas. Residents said gunfire and blasts were echoing across Fallujah.

US troops have long faced daily attacks in the "Sunni triangle", including Fallujah. But the fighting in Shi'a Muslim areas represents a new front for occupying troops trying to pacify the country ahead of a June 30 handover of sovereignty to an Iraqi government.

US President George Bush has insisted the violence by Sadr's supporters would not derail Washington's plans for Iraq.

But a new opinion poll as Bush campaigns for November re-election showed support among US voters for his handling of Iraq had fallen to a new low of 40 percent - down 19 points since mid-January.

The US-led administration said on Monday an arrest warrant had been issued several months ago for Sadr in connection with the murder of another Shi'a cleric in 2003.

Sadr's supporters said he was in his Najaf office and pledged to fight any attempt to detain him.

A Pew Research Centre poll which reported the slump in approval for Bush's handling of Iraq also found 44 percent of Americans wanted US troops withdrawn from the country.

US Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, a key backer of Democrat John Kerry's bid to unseat Bush in November, said Iraq had become "George Bush's Vietnam".

A senior US army official said the Pentagon was looking at sending more troops to Iraq if the situation deteriorated, but believed it already had enough soldiers in place.

Fighting has raged between Sadr's supporters and foreign troops since clashes in Baghdad and Najaf on Sunday killed at least 48 Iraqis, eight US soldiers and one Salvadoran soldier.

The US army said two soldiers had been killed in the Shi'a Kadhimiya neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday and another in the same area on Tuesday. All three attacks involved fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades.

A health ministry spokesperson said that in Baghdad 66 Iraqis had been killed and 317 wounded in the violence that began on Sunday. The impoverished Sadr City district has seen some of the heaviest clashes with US troops.

In Nassiriya, 375km south-east of Baghdad, clashes between Italian troops and Sadr's militiamen erupted before dawn as 500 Italian soldiers mounted an operation to dislodge fighters in control of key bridges in the town.

Paola della Casa, a spokesperson for the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority in the area, told Italy's Ansa news agency that about 15 Iraqis had been killed. An Italian officer in the town told Reuters that 12 Italian soldiers were wounded.

"We launched a large-scale operation on Tuesday morning to restore public order to the town after two days of civil unrest," Major Simone Schiavone said. "The city was divided in two, with the bridges under their control. We had to go in and sort out the situation before it deteriorated."

Clashes were also reported in the southern towns of Amara, where British troops are stationed, and in Kut.

The US military said four Marines had been killed on Monday in the volatile al-Anbar province, which includes Ramadi and Fallujah. The Marines have launched a major new mission to pacify Fallujah, imposing a curfew and sealing off roads.

The mission - "Operation Vigilant Resolve" - follows the killing and mutilation of four US contractors in the town in the past week. A cheering crowd set the bodies ablaze and hacked them up.

A total of 429 US troops have been killed in action in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003, which toppled Saddam Hussein.

Source: Independent On-Line

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  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Baghdad, Conflicts And War, Fallujah, Iraq
Views: 3098

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Older Comments:
AHMED FROM UK said:
Dont be fooled folks..the post by "abdullah hakim" is a fraud, its actually "acc" with his retarded rightwing posts, in CAPS. The loser is now pretending to be Muslims who supports terrorism against Iraq.
A true American moron in action, as usual.
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SAYF UDEEN HUSAYN FROM USA said:
Allah in the Holy Qur'an tells us Muslims to depend on each other and to seek each others protection as Muslims, not to depend on the disbelievers and to seek their protection Surah 5:51 "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your protectors they are but frinds and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust." Because when we do such "apostate and seek the protection & friendship with the kufrs" puppets and division comes about such as the saudi government which is nothing more than a puppet government of the Zionist and U.S., as well as Musharraf, all of whom listen to and obey the demands and wishes of Bush, of the disbelievers. They as puppets make efforts to "water-down" Islam, accept parts of the Qur'an and reject others, these puppet governments "remove Islamic Law, and in in appliance with the West apply "man made laws" which lead to the destruction to Islamic values, Islamic foundations an example is Turkey, they have banned hijab in the schools in the name of "Secularism" which is "man made law" not Allah's law. The Messenger of Allah(SAW) foretold that the Muslim Ummah would follow the ways of their predecessors to the point that if the disbelievers went into a lizard hole the Muslims would follow them, these are the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(SAW) and sadly this is what we see today in the Muslim world. So those brave Muslims who are "awake" to these troubling facts fight to hold firm to the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(SAW), fight the disbelievrs in the cause of Islam & for the sake of not having another "puppet government over Muslims" they are doing what is necessary. Ask yourself a question as a Muslim, "Would Prophet Muhammad(SAW) take sides with disbelievers against his fellow Muslims? NO! he would not. I can only wonder what will be the world view of the awaited Mahdi when he appears? Hadith states that he will "fight" against the enemies of Islam?
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SAYF UDEEN HUSAYN FROM USA said:
Assalaamualaykum, To brothe Israfil, the Messenger of Allah(SAW) foretold that during the Last Days the kufrs "Jews & Christains" would overtake the Muslim Ummah, and many Muslims due to this would lose faith, feel & become lost, be put through a great fitnah, the Messenger of Allah(SAW) also stated that during the Last Days the Muslim Ummah would unfortunatly follow the ways of their predecessors "the Jews & Christians" weither it is so-Democracy, accepting the Western worlds customs & culture, accepting forms of government that are invented by Jews and Christians such as so-called Democracy, Secularism, etc accepting such is following the ways of the kufrs, the disbelievers. The Messenger of Allah(SAW) said the Khilafah would be destroyed and the "proud kingdoms" would emerge, ten they would be destroyed and the Khilafah would be re-established, now the question is "If one is suppose to be a Muslim, then why would he or she want to work against re-establishing the much need Khilafah, the Islamic State?? When it is the destiny of the Ummah, the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(SAW). Such is an act of apostacy, "taking sides with the disbelievers against your fellow Muslims" Remember Surah 5:51. May Allah bring victory to the Muslim Ummah, and grant sucess to those Mujahideen who fight to establish Islam, not the ways and governance of the disbelievers.
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ISRAFIL FROM UNITED STATES said:
As'Salaamu Alaikum,

I disagree with brother Sayf Udeen Husayn, I believe in the will of God, and if by God's will that American troops shouldn't have reached the peek that they have thus far then by God it is probably the destiny that the so-called Kufr can perhaps bring about change to a war torn society.

Societies themselves change and I do not believein some Shiite theocracy. Muqtader Al-Sadr is not an individual ( to my understanding) is bringing about peace. In fact, if his main goal was to bring peace and change to the Iraqi people then his philosophy would have been more diplomatic rather in fierce words.

It's impossible for an underdeveloped society such as Iraqi to prosper if the initial philosophy is fierce rhetoric and fighting. I agree on the other hand, although American politics in Iraqi is suspended on the thin thread of "liberation" I believe each country has an agenda. No country whether Islamic-or as you say brother Husayn "Kufr" is truly pious. Each society has a goal- The advancement of that society apart from the rest of the world, therefore you must call a spade a spade.
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ABDULLAH HAKIM said:
SALAAM. THE FACT IS THAT THIS JUNIOR CLERIC AL-SADR IS A GANGLAND THUG INVOLVED IN DIRECTING
THE MURDER OF AYATOLLAH AL-KHOEI WHO WAS KILLED
BY MEMBERS OF THE MAHDI ARMY WITH KNIVES AND A GUN SHOT ON APRIL 10, 2003. AL-SADR IS USING THE PRESENT SITUATION IN IRAQ AS AN EXCUSE TO(A)INCREASE HIS CONTROL OF MASJIDS PRIOR TO THE SPRING PILGRIMAGES BECAUSE THAT IS WHEN THE MONEY FLOWS IN (B)AVOID HAVING TO PAY FOR HIS CRIME OF CAPITAL MURDER EVEN IF IT MEANS SACRIFICING IRAQI CITIZENS AND EVEN DESTROYING THE NATION (C) PREVENTING THE EMERGENCE OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW IN IRAQ AS THAT WOULD RELEGATE HIM TO INSIGNIFICANCE AND HURT HIS OVERBLOWN EGO. JUST AS MUSLIMS IGNORED THE
ATROCITIES OF SADDAM HUSSEIN THE SAME THING IS BEING DONE NOW WITH AL-SADR WHO IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH HIS SUPERIROR AYATOLLAH AL-SISTANI
WHO HAS ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW A PATH OF PEACE AND RECONCILIATION IN ORDER TO BUILD THE FOUNDATIONS OF IRAQ ON A FIRM BASIS AND NOT ON POWER PLAYS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE. BUT NO. AL-SADR IS ON A ROLL AND HE HAS THE SUPPORT OF A LOT OF HOTHEADS ESPECIALLY HIS MAHDI ARMY WHICH IS MADE UP OF PAID MERCENARIES. ITS TIME FOR THE TRUTH TO PREVAIL INSTEAD OF TAKING SIDES
AND HARMING THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND THIS CHANCE THEY HAVE TO BUILD A PROSPEROUS AND DEMOCRATIC FUTURE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. LET THE SELF-APPOINTED AMBASSADORS OF ISLAM NOT DESTROY EVERTHING THEY TOUCH. IS ANYBODY INTERESTED IN THE TRUTH AT ALL ANY MORE?? BISMILLAH.
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SAYF UDEEN HUSAYN FROM USA said:
Allahuakbar!!! I pray to Allah that the Zionist backed occupying kufr troops in Iraq are crushed and destroyed. Because the true goals of the U.S. government as well as the Zionist is not to stablize Iraq but to impose just another "puppet so-called Muslim leader" that will follow and obey thaeir every wish and desire. It is great to see the Islamic resistance in Iraq, and even greater to see that the us Sunni and the Shia are working together to defeat the occupying disbelievers who wish to impose their kufr system which is the Dajjal System. Division in the Ummah has been our greatest weakness that the kufrs have took advantage of as much as they can, unity is a must, re-establishmeant of the much needed Khilafah is a must, Islam is a must! I quote from the Holy Qur'an "The Unbelievers are Protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, there will be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief" (8:73). So long live Imam Sadr & his Mahdi Army! Long live the Mujahideen! Long live Hamas! Long live all Muslims who have the courage to stand up and fight the occupying kufr forces unlike the blind mellow watered down and milk toast who are satisfied with the Zionist rule of the world and who take sides with the disbelievers against the Muslims, apostates. Long live the Islamic resistance in Iraq!! Allahuakbar!!
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HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
As-Salamu'alaykum. This state of affairs was imminent. Once the invasion was complete, the government toppled and the dictator caught, the logical next step would have been, unrestricted free elections. When the American governer of Iraq(now doesn't this sound moronic?) announced that he would veto any islamic aspect of the new constitution, what message was that to the Iraqis? There was no emphacy on the will of the people, but right from the start the Americans were keen on stressing out the purpose of their mission. The prostitution of Iraq. Iraq is forced, as we speak, to put on the American garb of democracy. There is no democracy in the USA. Nobody can run for presidency unless his fat rich and can spend millions of $ for his campaign. You don't need brains, live example, Bush! You have the dough you run for it. Great ideas and reforms belong to the history books, not to the contemporary American politics. It's either Moqtada as-Sadr or other grassroots leader, but the Iraqis will not take an American design to govern their country. The sooner the US realizes this the faster they would get out of Iraq. If the Americans think that they will install a government after their liking and patrol the streets of Baghdad with reduced forces, they rather think again in long term occupation with hundred of thousands of troops stationed permanently in Iraq. Guerilla skirmishes every now and then with the imminent result of a continuous supply of bodybags for the families back home. They live, next day, coup d'eta! It is Bush's Viet Nam. Let's hope that the next US president will be not only a person with money but with insight and far reaching vision as well. Because if this humiliation of the Iraqi people continues, they will rebel. Sadam is gone. They don't need an American Sadam instead. They need relief, not a different kind of oppression. Inshallah, the people of Iraq will experience peace and sovranty, although for now it seems like a futuristic concept...
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AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
The death of an American is not more serious than the death of ANY Iraqi. There is no superiority in death, just because of where you are from.
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