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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Radical Cleric Orders Attacks Against US Troops

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

The relative calm, pervasive throughout much of Iraq in recent months, may soon come to an abrupt end. Moqtada al-Sadr, the powerful cleric and outspoken opponent of the US occupation of Iraq, has ordered attacks on US troops in reprisal for recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Al-Sadr has been vocal in his opposition to any continued presence of US troops in the region, and has launched two previous offensives targeting US soldiers and outposts. The influential cleric also apposed a security deal agreed upon and signed by the two countries last year.

This new edict from al-Sadr does not bode well for peace in Iraq any time in the near future. His followers are loyal and numerous, and have shown themselves to be fierce fighters.

"I ask the Iraqi resistance to engage in revenge operations against the United States, the biggest partner of the Zionist enemy," al-Sadr is quoted as saying, urging the Iraqi resistance to carry out “revenge operations” against US interests.

The cleric also urged the closing of all Israeli embassies in the region as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people. So far, more than seven hundred Palestinians have died as a result of this most recent Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza.

Earlier Thursday, a chief spokesman for the United Nations announced the organization would suspend further activities in the Palestinian territory. The organization provides food and relief to nearly 80 percent of Gaza's population.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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