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WAR: Preparations for Assault on Najaf Shrine Underway

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posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 09:08 AM

Iraqi officials have given Al-Sadr's militia hours to surrender their weapons and themselves today. Militants have been using Najaf's Imam Ali shrine as a fortress for the past few weeks. Officials state that the assault will be led by Iraqi forces and that American and Coalition forces will only provide support. The Defense Minister of Iraq promises to "teach them a lesson they will not forget."
Explosions and gunfire echoed through the streets as U.S. forces battled Mehdi Army militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose two-week-old uprising poses the biggest challenge yet to Iraq's interim government.

Sadr's fighters are taking shelter in Najaf's Imam Ali shrine, hoping their opponents will not dare to attack one of the holiest sites for Iraq's majority Shi'ites, but Defense Minister Hazim al-Shaalan said an assault was imminent.

"They have a chance. In the next few hours they have to surrender themselves and their weapons," Shaalan said in the city after meeting local officials.

"We are in the process of completing all our military preparations... We will teach them a lesson they will never forget," he said.

"It will be Iraqis who enter the shrine ... there will be no American role in this, except giving air protection and protecting some roads leading to the shrine. But the entry (of the shrine) will be 100 percent Iraqi," Shaalan told Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab television channel, in Najaf.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Regardless if it is American forces or Iraqi forces supported by Americans storming the shrine, outrage in the Shi'ite population is sure to follow when this event occurs. Civil unrest is unlikely in Shi'ite cities such as Samara and Falluja.
Related ATSNN links
Iraq peace mission falls through
Thousands of Iraqis Protest U.S. Assault on Najaf
Moqtada al-Sadr Reported Injured in Siege of Najaf
Major U.S Offensive Begins In Najaf

[edit on 8-18-2004 by worldwatcher]

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 09:30 AM
Ouch, an attack on a holy shrine is not a good thing... the US will be hated even more across the world if we start attacking holy sites.

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 09:47 AM
Thats why the Iraqis are the only ones entering the shrine and the US is only "backing them up". I have a feeling that US forces will be providing quite a bit of "backup". However it goes down, I hope Al-Sadr is killed or captured and that there is minimal damage to the shrine. It will not be good at all for the US is that shrine is damaged, even if it is Al-Sadr and those cowards hiding in the shrine that blow it up.
.....I'm just seeing live on FOX that Al-Sadr accepted all conditions of the Iraqi Govt.???? And he and his followers are disarming and surrendering???? I can't imagine this is entirely true.

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 09:47 AM
Enough blood has been shed by the armed forces of the U.S. military. A holy shrine is a building and those who hide behind its doors bring dishonor to its symbology. It is being used now to topple a fledgling government and this can't happen.

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 09:50 AM
I'm glad to see that finally, the Iraqi army is going to do some of their own fighting... US to provide back up...

hopefully the Iraqi army can get this one and we ( the US) won't have to take over that battle....

Good Luck GUys...

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 10:07 AM
Not matter who goes inside that holy place Americans will be blame for the only reason of being in Iraq and backing up the poppet government that US has elected in power.

Just like Sadam made a mockery of the authority of the judge during his review trial so the rest of the population will question the validity of the so call Iraqi government and the power over the police and the military in that country.

At the end even if US does not step anywhere in that Mosque he is going to be blame for the destruction of it if is get destroy.

This is a no win situation for US.

posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 10:11 AM
Sadr agrees to end Najaf crisis, Iraqi delegates say

A letter from Sadr's office in Baghdad was read out at the conference, saying Sadr had agreed to demands, which included leaving the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf.

Looking for more info,

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