Elements of Mehdi Army out of Control

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 11 months ago

This little nuggert from an article otherwise focused on Iranian funding of the violence in Iraq:

“You see them enabling all comers,� he said. “And by the way, nobody in this country stays bought. You’re rented.�

The senior military official was discussing intelligence issues under condition he not be named, in a briefing with journalists in Baghdad on Wednesday, the transcript of which was made available on Thursday.

He estimated that Iran has sent “millions of dollars� to the Mehdi Army militia of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, including rogue elements that had slipped out of Sadr’s direct control.

Interestingly, this same issue is discussed elsewhere:

Since Moqtada Al Sadr has taken a more active role in Iraq’s government, his militiamen have become frustrated by the constraints and have broken away, the New York Times said Thursday. Splinter groups are hiring themselves out as death squads and criminal gangs, the newspaper said.

Shiites dominate Sadr’s militia, the Times said, and are organized into neighborhood protection forces. His militias have listened to Sadr in the past, but as violence in Iraq spread, so did the militias’ waywardness, the Times said.

Sadr still has as many as 7,000 militiamen in Baghdad, the Times said.

Al Sadr’s militia, at least some of them, have turned into common criminals.  So much for the “holy war” concept.

Regarding those remaining, an estimated 7000 militia, on FNC several nights ago, Fred Barnes divulged that an unidentified general had told him that the U.S. military was going to “go after” al Sadr.

It would appear that if we don’t we are leaving a powder keg in place.  Al Sadr has been allowed to operate with impunity for too long.  If the problem isn’t his loyal followers spawning hatred of the U.S. with pro-Hizballah rallies, it is the disloyal followers spawning organized crime.


You are currently reading "Elements of Mehdi Army out of Control", entry #309 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iran,Iraq and was published September 30th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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