Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

Iraqi, US troops braced for Najaf assault


Recommended Posts

NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) - US airstrikes began at dusk as Iraqi and US troops braced for an imminent assault on Najaf's holy shrine, with orders to kill or capture militia leader Moqtada Sadr unless he surrendered.

Amid the tension, two ministers in the US-backed interim government escaped bombings in the capital, one of which was claimed by the group linked to Iraq's alleged Al-Qaeda chief, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.

Hundreds of heavily-armed Iraqi national guardsmen and US marines were seen fanning out across the Old City around the shrine well before nightfall.

At around 7:30 pm (1530 GMT), two US Apache helicopters fired missiles near the city's vast Valley of Peace cemetery, before tanks began pounding positions in the Old City around 10:50 pm, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Artillery fire could also be heard coming from the direction of Najaf's twin city of Kufa, 10 kilometres (six miles) away.

Less than a week before Monday's anniversary of the birth of Ali, Shiite Islam's first and most revered imam, an assault to rid his mausoleum of militiamen looked imminent.

"This is the first day they are here and they will be staying here," said Lieutenant Haider Hassan Wahid, estimating that some 100 Iraqi troops, pulled together from an amalgam of security forces, were deployed in the Old City.

In the morning, Iraqi national guardsmen and US troops came under a hail of gunfire from the Mehdi Army as they marched down Medina Street which runs parallel to the mausoleum, one of the holiest Shiite shrines in the world.

"If Moqtada Sadr surrenders, he will be safe and sound. If he resists, the only thing for him is death or prison," Defence Minister Hazem al-Shaalan told the television cameras at a US military base outside the ravaged city.

"A large Iraqi force will near the mausoleum, waiting for the signal for the assault, unless they surrender. There are only a few hours left," said Shaalan.

Full Article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 3
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Fluffybunny


  • Michelle


  • DC09


  • JAZ76US


Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Do u guys think Sadr will surrender ? I am not sure if he will or not. Just when it seems that he was gona surrender in the past. Fighting and tensions broke out again. Well it seems that his time for a decision is very limited now. Hopefully this problem will be resolved and then we can finish our business in Iraq and get our troops the hell out of there, but i dont see us leaving for a long time though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do u guys think Sadr will surrender ?

I think that he has made to many claims to be able to back down at this point and save face with his followers.

I think that they are working towards being able to allow sadr to be able to hand over the shrine and his people without loosing his standing amongst his people. My understanding is that sadr has a shot at beggining a political party that would be considered a serious party to contend with in the new political structure.

It seems touch and go, but I am not holding out much hope as even Sadr realizes he would make a better martyr than he would politician...I would be really surprised if they don't end up having to invade and take the shrine by force.

Of course who knows, my chrystal ball is on the blink...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Knowing the history sadly I don't think he will. crying.gif Some of the people of the region will just not be reasoned with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.