The Middle East Monitor: “The head of Iraq’s Shia Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr yesterday threatened the United States’ troops if they decide to return to Iraq.
Al-Sadr said, in a statement posted on his official website: “The Black House [The White House] has decided to resume its attacks on Iraqi territory and perhaps the American decision comes after it had regretted its mockery of a withdrawal from Iraq to avoid the Iraqi fierce military and political and popular resistance.”
Al-Sadr continued: “I say, if you [United States] decide to return to Iraq, we will fight you with all our power and you will regret your decision.”
Opinion: Remember the name Muqtada al-Sadr? He’s the radical Shiite cleric who fiercely opposed the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Back then, the Mahdi Army was responsible for some of the deadliest days of the Iraq war.
Al-Sadr’s Mahdi army rose to international prominence on April 18, 2004 when it spearheaded the first major armed confrontation against the U.S.-led forces in Iraq from the Shia community. At its height, the Mahdi Army’s popularity was strong enough to influence local government, the police, and cooperation with Sunni Iraqis and their supporters.
Then he overplayed his hand.
The U.S. got other Shiite leaders to turn on him, issue an arrest warrant, and in 2007 he fled to Iran, where he sought exile and supposedly studied theology. But when he returned in 2011, his followers remained loyal to him, and he wields real political power in Iraq.
Al-Sadr appears to be trying to become the new power broker of Iraq, condemning ISIS and the Sunni terrorist groups, but also appealing to moderate Sunnis. Whether or not he succeeds, we are probably witnessing splits in the Shiite coalition, and that can only mean more chaos in an already chaotic situation.
So now we have the Obama doctrine (no boots on the ground) and a Shia cleric in agreement … scary.
(Thanks to Vason for sending this in)