British troops face Iraq jihad

PK

Old-Salt
#1
From todays Daily Telegraph
British troops face Iraq jihad
By Adrian Blomfield in Baghdad
(Filed: 06/08/2004)

Militants linked to the firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr declared holy war on British forces yesterday, as violence erupted in Shia strongholds across southern Iraq, threatening to unravel a tenuous two-month ceasefire.

Masked militia: gunmen linked to Moqtada al-Sadr

Battles between Sadr's Mahdi army militia and American and British soldiers raged in areas that have been relatively stable recently. British troops killed two gunmen after coming under attack by militants who tried to take control of strategic points in Basra. Fifteen people were killed in fighting between US troops and Sadr militia in the Shia holy city of Najaf.

The flare-up posed a new threat to the Iraqi interim government, already mired in fighting north of Baghdad.

There were indications last night that the interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, was preparing to invoke emergency provisions and declare martial law in the worst troublespots.

In Basra, the threat to British forces followed the arrest of four Sadr supporters on Wednesday. Yesterday's fighting broke out after the expiry of a noon deadline to release them.

Sheikh Saad al-Basri, Sadr's representative in the mainly Shia city, accused the British of seeking to "create in Basra the state of crisis that exists in Najaf", and declared: "We will wage jihad and war against the foreign troops."

British officers said they were taking the threat seriously. "We are clearly aware of this declaration and we are closely monitoring the situation," said Major Ian Cloony.

Hundreds of people died in April and May after Sadr's militia launched an uprising, centred on Najaf. A ceasefire was declared two months ago.

Yesterday, however, American forces struggled to contain an upsurge of violence there. A US helicopter was shot down, injuring the crew, and an American soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on his convoy. Five were wounded.

Tensions have been high since Monday when the Mahdi army claims US forces surrounded Sadr's house in Najaf. American officers deny this, saying they returned fire after coming under attack in the area.

Violence also flared in the Baghdad Shia slum of Sadr City and in Amara, another southern city under British control. "The ceasefire is over because of the actions of the occupation forces," said a Sadr spokesman there.
 
#2
whats new ?
damned if you do, damned if you don't :?

may as well go the whole hog and eliminate Sadr's group then any other militant groups will realise that they will be faced with the same fate.
i personally wouldn't have negotiated at the start as they were about to collapse otherwise they wouldn't have asked for a truce now they are using the spare time to rearm and regroup.
 
#3
semper said:
whats new ?
damned if you do, damned if you don't :?

may as well go the whole hog and eliminate Sadr's group then any other militant groups will realise that they will be faced with the same fate.
i personally wouldn't have negotiated at the start as they were about to collapse otherwise they wouldn't have asked for a truce now they are using the spare time to rearm and regroup.
Exactly in one, we will never learn, from the hard learnt lessons before what was paid in blood. :evil:
 

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