In Iraq, an old U.S. foe grows his political power | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

In Iraq, an old U.S. foe grows his political power

On a tense February night, thousands of militiamen loyal to Shi’ite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad and southern Iraqi cities, parading in gun-laden pick-up trucks while state security forces stood by.

It was the biggest show of force by the populist cleric since the mid-2000s, when his followers battled the U.S. occupation and inflicted thousands of American casualties.

Two days later, Sadr made a rare appearance in front of news cameras from his base in the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. He said his Peace Brigades deployed because of a terrorist threat against Shi’ite holy sites. Iraq was not secure without his paramilitaries, he added. “The security forces are in a state of collapse.”

For Sadr’s opponents and allies alike, the cleric’s message was clear: after years on the fringes, Sadr is back. On the streets and in the corridors of power.

Tags:

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA