Iraqi, U.S. Forces Take Over Al-Mahdi Stronghold Without Firing a Shot

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Dallas, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    This is how you do's it.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    They came at dawn, thousands of Iraqi troops and U.S. special forces on a mission to reclaim a lawless city from the militias who ran it.
    By the end of the day, al-Amarah was under Iraqi government control — without a shot being fired.

    The city had been taken over by Moqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army two years ago after British troops handed it to an ill-prepared Iraqi Army. On Thursday, the city's streets were crawling with Iraqi security forces. Soldiers searched houses as police manned checkpoints and Soviet-era tanks guarded bridges over the Tigris River.

    The flood of troops, who had moved into position outside the city a week ago, had encountered no resistance as they moved in. The leaders of the Shia militias that once ruled as crime bosses and warlords were either gone or in hiding. Even the police chief fled a week ago, fearing arrest for his affiliation to the al-Mahdi Army, while the mayor, a member of the Sadrist movement, was arrested.

    Nouri al-Maliki, the Shia prime minister, has insisted that his large-scale operations in the south are not targeting the Sadrist movement, which has been increasingly weakened by internal divisions, its brutal reputation for murder and extortion and a more confident Iraqi military.

    Al-Sadr, the fundamentalist Shia cleric who heads the al-Mahdi Army and the Sadrist political movement, ordered his men not to resist the government forces, and a senior member of his parliamentary block expressed grudging support.

    Locals said that militiamen had been spotted throwing their weapons into the Tigris or trying to hide them along the lush river banks. One man said that he saw two women digging up a stash hidden by a fighter and taking them into a weapons collection point in the hope of a reward.

    Click here for the full story from the Times of London.
  2. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    The ease with which Iraqi forces retook al-Amarah, for long a no-go zone, was in marked contrast to the battle for Basra launched by Mr al-Maliki in March. That conflict ended only when the Government cut a deal with Hojatoleslam al-Sadr, a ceasefire brokered by Iran.
    “This way is better,” said Captain Ali, noting that an army battalion would stay in al-Amarah once the operation is finished clearing out the militias. “We don't want to lose people, and in urban warfare women and children can get killed.”
    While the Prime Minister had personally to lead his shaky forces on the offensive in Basra, he and his army have gained in confidence since establishing control of the southern port city, even flooding the Sadr City stronghold in Baghdad with thousands of soldiers. For the first time in years the young cleric looks unsure of himself. Last week he announced that the main wing of al-Mahdi Army would devote itself to civilian projects, while a streamlined, smaller group would carry on attacking the US military, whom the demagogue deems a legitimate target for resistance.
    Nabil Ibrahim, 20, an al-Amarah resident, was pleased to see the influx of government troops but upset that the men who had turned his city into a lawless no man's land had escaped. “The leaders who escaped aren't all al-Mahdi Army, they are Iranian intelligence agents. We are sad because they got away and they'll be back.”
    Captain Ali denied that the criminal leaders had been allowed to get away. “We didn't just let them escape, this was a kind of amnesty. This was a last chance for those who were misled by the militias and regretted it,” he said. He said that the local population was co-operating with the security sweep, and that the army had found more than 900 roadside bombs in weapons stashes.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Looks like the Iraqi security forces are turning the corner. More bad news for the cut and run, surrender Democrats. Now they have to hope the economy does not start to improve or they are in trouble.
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    This is good news ..... though I am sure it will be downplayed.
  5. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    This is great news. Fantastic news. Amazing news....
  6. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    On the one hand, they have it shouldn't be too much of a problem jump starting their economy. Though long term, its on them to sustain growth.

    On the other hand, it is Bush's regime that will be trying to implement economic policy/teach them economic maybe its doomed from the start.

    Back to the other hand again, they'll probably be a free market economy. I am always in favor of that.


    Hopefully for their sake, they don't follow our market economy. Maybe they can do away with large gov't spending, huge mismanaged social programs, and allow their people true economic freedom.

    Maybe we can try that someday too.
  7. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    It's all Bushes fault....It's all his fault,I tell ya'!

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