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Al-Sadr’s Brother in Law Killed

John on April 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm

This could be very bad news. The US has been struggling to keep the peace with Moqtada al Sadr and his militant army. Today al Sadr’s brother in law was killed by unknown gunmen. This Seattle PI story makes it sound as if al Sadr blamed US forces for the killing:

Al-Sadr blamed the Americans and their Iraqi allies for the killing but called for calm – presumably to avoid a showdown at a time his Mahdi Army militia is under pressure by Iraqi and U.S.-led forces in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

But this story for Alalam news spins it very differently differently:

Al-Sadr’s spokesman in Najaf, Salah al-Obeidi, said the United States bore responsibility for Friday’s killing because of its continued presence in Iraq. He called on al-Sadr’s followers to react calmly to the killing, saying they should not allow themselves to be “dragged into other’s plots.”

Sounds to me like al-Sadr doesn’t suspect the US directly at all, rather he is only blaming the killing on our presence. Personally, details from the Seattle PI story make it very unlikely the US is behind this:

Several prominent Sadrists described al-Nouri as a voice of moderation within the movement, arguing against an armed confrontation with the Americans and al-Sadr’s Shiite rivals. He had also opposed a decision by the Sadrists last year to withdraw from al-Maliki’s government.

In short, the guy who was killed was, effectively, on our side. I’d say it’s much more likely he was killed by people who want “moderation” to go the way of the dodo in Iraq. Al Quaeda springs to mind. This is another step toward chaos which benefits them in the long run.

It’s unlikely that Iran would be behind this because they have close ties to al Sadr himself. Whatever the case, I’m sure that US back-channel envoys to al-Sadr are working overtime as we speak.

Update: Then again, here’s another story from the same Iranian news site in which al-Sadr’s spokesman directly blames the US.

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Category: Islamic Jihad |

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