Iraq cracks down on Shi’ite militants involved in Killing of American Soldiers

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Saturday, 02 July 2011


shiitenews_al-sadr_madhi-armyAgainst a backdrop of rising violence against American soldiers, Iraqi security forces have unleashed a sweeping crackdown on Shi’ite Muslims over their allegedly involvement in the lethal attacks on American invasion forces, American and Iraqi officials said.

The operation against Shiite Muslim has been welcomed by the US military, which announced the deaths of three Americans in southern Iraq on Thursday, bringing the total of combat-related deaths in June to 14 - the bloodiest month in three years.
Obama said.

The cost of the Iraq war is staggering. At least 4,463 Americans have been killed and more than 32,000 wounded. Some economists have estimated the overall impact of the Iraq war on the US economy at over 3 trillion dollars.

Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business.

Violence remains a daily fact of life as Iraq endures more terrorist attacks than any other country in the world.


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As attacks on soldiers increased this spring, US commanders grew concerned that the Shi’ite government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would be unwilling to act against the Shiite militias. Many of the militant groups have ties to the leading Shiite Cleric Syed Moqtada al-Sadr, whose party is a critical pillar of Maliki’s governing coalition and the fierce opponent of American forces presence in Iraq.

Those fears have begun to be allayed as a force of about 2,000 Iraqi soldiers and police undertake an offensive in the southern province of Maysan, one of the largest mobilizations by the government since it took over security responsibilities.

Security forces have increased activities across Iraq, arresting militants, conducting patrols, and searching for weapons caches, said the US military’s top spokesman in Iraq, General Jeffrey S. Buchanan.

Since the sweep began, the number of rocket and mortar attacks on American military bases has fallen, although attacks on convoys continue unabated, Buchanan said.

Shiite militias step up Iraq attacks on US troops

The Shiite militiamen's goal is to prevent the U.S. military from extending its presence in the country past the end of this year.

The militia attacks — mainly in the Shiite heartland in southern Iraq — raise the prospect of increased violence against Americans if a residual U.S. force remains in the country past 2011, a possibility being considered by the Baghdad government to help maintain a still fragile security.

Three separate militias have been involved in the attacks, particularly a small but deadly group known as the Hezbollah Brigades.

They also point to the persistent efforts by Shiite-majority Iran, the United States' top regional rival, to influence Iraq after the Americans' exit.

June deadliest for US army since 2009

June marks the deadliest month in combat related fatalities for US forces in Iraq since 2009 amid fears of a rise in attacks against the US military.

The most recent killing of two American soldiers in northern Iraq on Sunday raised the US forces' death toll to 11 in June. Sunday's casualties raised the total death toll for US forces in Iraq to 4,463 since March 2003, according to icasualties.org.

US military commanders warn that there could be a rise in attacks against US troops as they prepare to withdraw from war-torn Iraq. Many of the remaining US military bases in southern Iraq have faced a surge in rocket and mortar attacks, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.

Analysts believe that the prolonged presence of US troops in the war-ravaged country and the US military officials' efforts to keep the troops in Iraq beyond December 2011 are the root causes of armed attacks on American soldiers.

“There are stories that the US has been telling Iraqi officials that they would like to stay there a little bit longer and that they think they would need to keep the troops there a bit longer and that is I think why some of these violences are happening in Iraq,” Director of Peace Action Paul Martin said.

According to a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington, known as the Status of Forces Agreement, all US forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.

“We hear a lot about Afghanistan, but we still have 50,000 troops in Iraq and probably double that in contractors and I don't think the American people know about that,” Martin added.

Polls show the majority of Americans do not believe the US should have invaded Iraq.

“We never should have gone to Iraq. I think we made up an excuse to invade, you know. I blame Bush and Cheney administration for that,” a US citizen said.

In his latest radio address, US President Barack Obama acknowledged that war is impacting America's fragile economy.

“After a decade of conflict we are finally bringing these wars to a responsible end and it's in the best interest of America's security and it's also in the best interest of America's economy," Obama said.

The cost of the Iraq war is staggering. At least 4,463 Americans have been killed and more than 32,000 wounded. Some economists have estimated the overall impact of the Iraq war on the US economy at over 3 trillion dollars.

Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business.

Violence remains a daily fact of life as Iraq endures more terrorist attacks than any other country in the world.


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