Wednesday :: Aug 25, 2004

Al-Sistani Returns To Iraq As US/Iraq Military Threatens To Crush Al-Sadr In Najaf Shrine

by Steve

The situation in Najaf is at a critically sensitive phase, with the US military moving to within only 20 meters of the Imam Ali shrine, claiming to have obliterated almost all of the Mehdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr. The Iraqi government is still threatening to attack the shrine at any moment with Iraqi security forces if al Sadrís forces donít lay down their arms.

The new development is that Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani has returned today from England, and has come into Iraq through Kuwait. Al-Sistani is preparing to lead a nationwide march to Najaf tomorrow to end the siege. We can only hope that the US military or the Iraqi government donít try and storm the shrine before al-Sistani can attempt to defuse the situation in a final effort to crush al-Sadr and make him a martyr. But quotes like this from our military donít lend themselves to optimism:

US Army 1st Lieutenant Michael Throckmortan said: "What we are trying to do is shape up the battlefield. We are trying to isolate them in one place before attacking."

Letís hope this is a pressure tactic only, and that something stupid doesnít happen before al-Sistani can bring the siege to a conclusion.

Steve :: 11:34 AM :: Comments (25) :: Digg It!