Mahdi Army

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Can ISIS Be Stopped?

Militants have taken four towns in two days

(Newser) - Officials in Baghdad are increasingly worried that the Iraqi Army is simply incapable of standing up to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is both better armed and better trained, diplomats and politicians tell the BBC . And the militants provided plenty of evidence for that as their campaign... More »

US Officers: We Executed Handcuffed Iraqi Captives

Prisoners were killed to avenge platoon's losses, investigators told

(Newser) - Three US officers shot four blindfolded and handcuffed Iraqi detainees early last year and dumped their bodies in a canal, according to statements made to military investigators and obtained by the New York Times. The men are likely to face murder charges. Four others from the same platoon have been... More »

Maturing Iraqi Army Enabled US Troop Deal

2011 withdrawal probable thanks to tougher local forces

(Newser) - The US's preliminary agreement with Iraq to withdraw most combat troops by 2011 would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. Declining levels of violence, a ceasefire with the Mahdi Army, and the about-face of Sunni leaders have all helped, the Wall Street Journal reports, but for the administration,... More »

Sadr Offers to Trade Militia for Set Timetable

Already disbanding Mahdi Army, cleric wants firm US deal

(Newser) - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered most of his Mahdi Army to disband today, and offered to completely dismantle it once the US agrees to a withdrawal timetable, Time reports. “The main reason for the armed resistance is the American military presence,” said a Sadr spokesman. “If the... More »

Sadr to Forge Peaceful Corps from Shiite Army

Mahdi militants said to shift focus to civil service, stabilizing Iraq

(Newser) - Anti-American Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is shifting his political clout away from militancy, and will disarm his Shiite Mahdi Army in favor of non-violent civic and social endeavors, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hoping to increase stability in Iraq, the organization will take on projects involving education, religion, and social... More »

Militia Power Wanes as Iraqi Government Gains

Shiite Mahdi Army's extortion and violence alienate residents

(Newser) - The sway of a key Iraqi militia has declined significantly and it's losing control of its Baghdad strongholds to the government, the New York Times reports. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army once controlled politics and police in areas throughout the city, but supporters became disenchanted by its violence... More »

Sadr Cultivates Respect, Image to Reflect Power

Militia chief moves toward mainstream, hones clerical chops

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr aims to shed his reputation as a dim-witted thug and become a respected Iraqi cleric like his father, the Washington Post reports, and has even spent the past year studying in Iran. Sadr, then nicknamed "Muqtada Atari" for his love of video games, was 25 when the... More »

Iraqi Army Rolls Into Sadr City

No bloodshed so far in peaceful takeover

(Newser) - Roughly 10,000 Iraqi troops peacefully marched deep into Sadr City today, the Baghdad ghetto that’s long been a stronghold for Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The incursion was part of a deal negotiated with Sadr last week, which allowed for inspections so long as the US wasn't... More »

US Rocket Attack Damages Iraqi Hospital

28 wounded; fleet of ambulances destroyed in blast

(Newser) - At least 28 people were wounded when US rockets struck near a Sadr City hospital today, destroying a fleet of ambulances, Reuters reports. The US says the attack was targeting a nearby militia “command and control” center. Hospital windows were shattered, but no patients were injured. The attack came... More »

Green Zone Strike Kills 2 in Sandstorm

Violence comes after al-Sadr's plea to end fighting

(Newser) - Hidden in a sandstorm, militants struck the US-protected Green Zone in Baghdad today and killed at least two Iraqis, the Los Angeles Times reports. The mortar or rocket attack, which also wounded 25, came just 2 days after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered members of his Mahdi Army to end... More »

Al-Sadr Threatens 'Open War'

Radical cleric urges Baghdad to take 'road of peace'

(Newser) - Moqtada al-Sadr today threatened today to “declare a war” against Iraq unless it curbs attacks on his Mahdi Army, CNN reports. “I’m giving the last warning to the Iraqi government,” he said. “If the government does not stop the militias infiltrated with them, then we... More »

Iraqis Buck US, Flee Front Line in Sadr City Fight

'We don’t see any progress being made at all,' American soldier says

(Newser) - An Iraqi Army unit fled its position in Sadr City last night, despite American protestations, the New York Times reports, breeding further doubt among US commanders. A captain begged the Iraqi in charge to reconsider. “If you turn around … those soldiers will follow you,” he said. “... More »

Iraq Fires 1,300 Cops, Troops After Basra

Baghdad says they ducked fight with Shiite militias

(Newser) - Iraq sacked 1,300 troopers and policemen today for fighting poorly or not at all in last month’s Basra battles. “Some of them were sympathetic with these lawbreakers,” said one official. “Some refused to battle for political, national, sectarian or religious reasons.” The firings are... More »

Death of Sadr Aide Sparks Battles in Baghdad

Iraqi prez condemns attacks but meets al-Sadr MPs

(Newser) - The murder of a Moqtada al-Sadr aide triggered heavy fighting in Baghdad today after al-Sadr’s men attacked US and Iraqi forces, Reuters reports. The cleric blamed “the hand of the occupier” for the death of Riyadh al-Nuri, a close relative, and vowed not to forget “this precious... More »

Sadr Threatens to End Truce

Mahdi Army leader, 'worried' for Iraqis' safety, cancels anti-US protest

(Newser) - Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr today threatened to end the cease-fire he imposed last year on his Mahdi militia, CNN reports, and called off a massive protest set for tomorrow, the fifth anniversary of the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule. Hundreds had converged on Baghdad—despite orders to keep young... More »

Split Deepens Between Iraqi Shiites

Intra-sect feuds reign between Sadr loyalists and government bodies

(Newser) - As violence between Sunni and Shiites has subsided in Iraq, animosity between Shiite sects is mounting, with a death toll to match, the Washington Post reports. The government's offensive last week against Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in Basra exposed the grim reality of a widening political gulf. “... More »

Iraqi PM: No Elections for Militias

Mahdi Army must disband, Maliki says, or lose political power

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr and his loyalists will be banned from upcoming elections if the Mahdi Army doesn't disband, Nouri al-Maliki said today, in his toughest rhetoric yet against the popular cleric. Sadrists say the Iraqi PM has no constitutional power to make that threat, but even if lawmakers succeed in banning... More »

Iraqi PM Flips, Calls Off Raids on Militias

Maliki extends olive branch to Sadr after Basra battle

(Newser) - Nouri al Maliki reversed course today, ordering a stop to raids against suspected Mahdi Army militants. The move is an apparent olive branch to Shiite rival Muqtada al Sadr, who had complained that raids against his militia fighters were continuing, even after he’d ordered them off the streets. Just... More »

US Joins Basra Battle; Maliki Extends Deadline

Maliki extends deadline as fighting continues

(Newser) - Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki today gave Shia militants in Basra 10 more days to turn over their weapons, as fighting continued in Iraq’s third largest city. The US, meanwhile, made its first moves in the fight, bombing Mahdi Army positions, the BBC reports. Muqtada al Sadr, the radical... More »

Bush Praises Iraqi Offensive

President scolds Congress' calls for withdrawal

(Newser) - President Bush praised the government of Iraq today for the offensive launched three days ago against militias in Basra, painting it as a sign of progress toward the goals of the US war, the AP reports. Bush also criticized Congress for calling for troop withdrawals so the military’s attention... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>