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WAR: Major U.S Offensive Begins In Najaf

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posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:18 AM
Reuters are reporting that US Armed Forces have seized the centre of Najaf.

U.S. Marines Seize Center of Najaf, Fighting Rages

By Khaled Farhan
NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. marines backed by tanks and aircraft seized the heart of the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on Thursday in a major assault on Shi'ite rebels, but they kept out of a site sacred to millions of Shi'ites around the world.

Warplanes and Apache helicopters pounded militia positions in a cemetery near the Imam Ali Mosque, igniting protests in at least two other cities as an uprising that has killed hundreds across southern and central Iraq entered its second week.

The assault against the Mehdi Army of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and growing anger among the majority Shi'ite community could spark a firestorm for interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi should holy sites be damaged or the death toll escalate.

Late in the afternoon, U.S. warplanes bombed targets near Sadr's house as U.S. marines battled militiamen in the area, witnesses said. Black smoke billowed as combatants exchanged heavy fire. Sadr's whereabouts were unknown.

Tightening their grip on the city, marines blocked entry to the Imam Ali Mosque, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites and where many militia have holed up.

In the southeastern city of Kut, at least 72 people were killed in U.S. air raids and fighting between Iraqi police and the Mehdi Army on Thursday, the Health Ministry said.

It said 25 people were killed in clashes in Baghdad and 21 in other cities in the past 24 hours. There were no immediate casualty figures from the Najaf offensive.

Protests broke out in Baghdad, where Shi'ite militiamen attacked a police station, and the southern city of Basra after the start of the offensive, aimed at crushing the heart of a radical Shi'ite Muslim rebellion that has hit seven cities.

The U.S. military said the assault would exclude the Imam Ali Mosque. A spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry told CNN that Iraqi forces alone would disarm militia holed up inside.

But the Mehdi Army raised the prospect of a bloody battle, vowing no surrender and saying Sadr was leading the defense at the shrine and vast cemetery, one of the Middle East's largest.

"The morale of the fighters is very high," said Ahmed al-Shibani, a senior Sadr spokesman in Najaf.;jsessionid=5QTVLBZRD1AQOCRBAEKSFFA?type=topNews&storyID=5956311

zero lift

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:20 AM

They aerisolized Fentanyl (a narcodic) forgot the antidote (narcan) and ended up killing a huge amount of people. The best course of action is to starve them out. Last thing we need is a Iraqi version of Waco.

Oh.. scrub that one then! I guess I've been watching too many Bond films....

[edit on 12/8/04 by muppet]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:34 AM
but after using gas etc they can die..US just can't damage the shrine.This is the primary target of this operation.The shrine shouldn't be damaged by AMERICAN fire.If they blow up themselves everything gonna be OK.Because it will be clear that muktada destroyed the shrine.

So I suppose that US should want attack them in this way because they vowed all people to leave the city.

Even if after such attack all defenders will be dead everything will be OK if shrine survive.

after all they could use this one:

[edit on 12-8-2004 by gattaca]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:48 AM
Fentanyl will only be effective in an enclosed environment. Coal' troops could poss'
be equiped with a high dose fentanyl spray, like a mace spray and if sprayed right
in their face, that would definatley confuse them. I reckon it would be non-viable
to use fentanyl any other way.


posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:50 AM

Originally posted by gattaca
but after using gas etc they can die..US just can't damage the shrine.

The problem with this is the incapacitating gas used by the Russians can be argued as a chemical weapon - opening up a whole new can of worms in the iraq war debate, international diplomacy and with the iraqi insurgents.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:59 AM

Do you realize you are talking about using chemical weapons (of mass destruction I may add) to quell a resistance in a country that you invaded because you were afraid they were evil enough to use WMDs on your country?

Look at what happened when Russia used "calmative gas" in that theatre in Chechnya.

Good link about fentanyl.

In some ways, the military's development of calmatives is part of a larger, disturbing expansion of the country's biological warfare capability. Since the Bush Administration took office, it has embraced and expanded on the Clinton Administration's work to develop new forms of anthrax and the CIA's replication of a Russian germ bomb, according to the 2001 book Germs by Oregonian managing editor Stephen Engelberg and New York Times reporters Judith Miller and William Broad. The Bush Administration has also made it harder to detect violations of current international law by effectively blocking an international draft agreement to create an inspections regime to enforce the BTWC last year. Negotiators from 143 countries had already agreed to strengthen the treaty, which--unlike the CWC and nuclear weapons agreements--has no real enforcement mechanisms. "The Bush Administration's decision to walk away from the draft on the table and to reject any possible future draft was a big mistake," says Elisa Harris, who helped shape the draft when she served as a biological weapons expert on Clinton's National Security Council.

The Administration's decision to back out of the agreement has raised suspicions that Washington itself has something to hide. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Congress passed $6 billion in funding ostensibly for defensive biological warfare measures. But the line between bio-defense and bio-offense is a thin one. The scientific know-how for both is often identical. And America's premier new bio-defense facility, being built at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, happens to be right next door to a large fermenter capable of producing biological weapons on a massive scale.
"At every turn, whether we are talking about calmatives or bio-defense, we are acting to give the impression that we are involved in offensive biological-weapons development," says CUNY professor Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, who chairs the Federation of American Scientists working group on biological weapons. "This will only encourage other countries to do the same, under the cover of defense, as the United States is doing. We are encouraging a biological arms race. The doctrine of pre-emption has replaced the doctrine of arms control."

Cough cough.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:32 AM
Foxnews is reporting they have Al Sadr's house surrounded right now and are taking fire from small arms and rocket propelled grenades.

I think we are putting too much "care" on the mosque and damaging it. Temples and Mosque have been destroyed many times over the years during war and if that is what it takes to put these people out of business we should not stop. The whole region will be better off if we stop Al Sadr now, not later after Iran puts more money and people in place to support him. He wants to run for office, he needs to be arrested and tried for his crimes not given a way out.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:40 AM
One could argue the point, Why not just drop a big (non exploding) bomb that contains a substance
that will render the militia neutral.
BUT, gas is the 3rd last option.


posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:42 AM
This mosque pisses me off they don't mind that Al-sader has about 1000 men in there with RPGs and weapons in the mosque, but they are angry because our troops are near the mosque. If it either the mosque or the violence continues I think we are going to have to go in the mosque.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:51 AM
And american forces have confirmed they have stormed Al Sadrs home. NO word yet on casualties or captures although several US servicemen have been wounded. We are getting some pretty good live shots as well as video of the battle. Foxnews is running it now, showing US soldiers entering the home of this nut case.

Now let's hope none of them are monitoring our cable news services since we just saw a live shot of our troops running from the home apparently moving to a new battle location. Seems it could tip the enemy off as to our troop movements. Wow, live war on TV. Pretty darn scary to watch. Reporters are now only 150 feet from the home, describing the battle. Says the enemy has now holed up in hospitals, attacking our troops from there.

[edit on 8/12/2004 by nativeokie]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 12:25 PM

Residents saw U.S. forces break into Muqtada al-Sadr's house without meeting any resistance.

, who has vowed to fight "until the last drop of my blood has been spilled," was not there at the time.

It was not immediately known where he went

AP: U.S. Forces Storm Shiite Cleric's House

U.S. commanders said they believe al-Sadr is holed up in the Imam Ali Shrine, one mile away

[edit on 12-8-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 01:05 PM
if the rebels (that's what they are) broke the no fighting truce, then america needs to contain and destroy any rebels that do not stop fighting, lay down their weapons or surrender

there isn't really anyone else for the rebels to rally around if their current leader is taken out

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 02:16 PM
It is important to remeber what nobody wants to admit in public: we are at war. The dilly-dallying of engaging of a cease-fire with al-Sadr again...and again...ang again is the same behavior that gave other countries and groups that the US was soft enough, lacking the political will, to actually protect its interests. We should not be risking the lives of our troops again and again trying to appease an ungrateful occupied population. Use massive, devastating force on the target and drive on. Again and again, historical land marks are only valuable to the enemy in that the US shows restraint. Should Iran or Syria invade Iraq, I don't think they would be hampered by a "holy site". How many Iraqis and US troops have died because we didn't deal decisively with al-Sadr sooner? If it pisses of Iraqi citizens to the point of a general uprising, then let's just get out.

Why didn't they rise up under Sadam? Because he didn't screw around. He had all the clout and used it brutally. We could just go, destroy all the heavy weapons, and give every citizen an AK. Everyone would be on an even playing field, and if they wanted freedom, they could take it.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 02:54 PM
war is always exciting isnt it.....on tv, lets be truthful.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 03:09 PM
Well... it does make me feel kind of tingly...

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 03:40 PM

Originally posted by suspiciousalouicious
We should not be risking the lives of our troops again and again trying to appease an ungrateful occupied population. Use massive, devastating force on the target and drive on. Again and again, historical land marks are only valuable to the enemy in that the US shows restraint.

This is the kind of logic that the Russians eventually had to reach in Grozney, flattened the town and eventually (by the book) regained control and ousted militants... and then the puppet ruler 'elected' in for the russians was eventually assasinated and they have still bloody terrorism and behaedings n stuff.... there is much more to this than the numbers of dead militants and blown up mosques...

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 03:55 PM
I understand that the truth of the situation is more than just loose raving about a frustrating situation. But my concern is this: war is serious and it just isn't possible to play nice all the time, however now that the political heat is on, action is not as decisive as it was at the beginning of the conflict. Many political heads say that it would be disasterous to ditch Iraq now, and to some extent, I agree. I would much rather have nation of free citizens freely choose thier own form of government. However, I can't help but feel skeptical when there are so many US business contracts involving Iraq. I've never believed this was a war for oil, but just like in all wars, there is money to be had, and it infuriates me that people are making a $ while the situation is prolonged. The military has one job, let them do it and come home. Building the peace is up to the people who have a stake in thier own future. I don't want to see inocent civilians killed, but a mosque or grave yard is neither. Holiness is internal, and I think a true spiritual leader recognizes this.

I think I just confused myself.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 04:26 PM
I admit that it is a very complex situation and often the military have to be left up to their devices much of the time, but if you flatten this area, it would make it even harder for any moderate shiite leaders to get a foothold int he power politics of the new country...

just a thought

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 04:48 PM
A new development in the Iraqi religious politics:

"On Thursday, the Board of Muslim Clergy, a Sunni fundamentalist organization with substantial support from Sunni Muslims, issued a fatwa or ruling that no Iraqi Muslim may participate in an attack on other Iraqi Muslims in support of the occupying power. That is, even the hard line Sunnis, who mostly don't like Shiites, are siding with Muqtada against Allawi and Rumsfeld on this one."

Looks like there is indeed a unifying effect of this particular conflict. Remarkable.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 04:52 PM
well there you go. Hundreds of years of relgious hatred sidelined for the sake of repelling the foreigners...when will people realise that linguistic groups will often side against the most alien, when seeing the most familiar (no matter how hated) in conflict with it. Unless you have a SERIOUSLY vested interest in US support in the very short term, as an Iraqi.. you might very well support the risings (no matter how short sighted that may be).

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