Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s terms for ending his campaign against Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Al-Maliki wants the militia to give up heavy weaponry and turn over wanted commanders. Salah al-Ubaydi, a Sadr spokesman, called the demands “illogical.”
Some 50 Iraqi political leaders from various parties (including Sunnis) protested on Sunday against the US siege of East Baghdad (Sadr City).
The campaign appears to have been launched in part to protect the Green Zone (site of government offices and the US embassy) from incoming mortar fire. Nevertheless, on Sunday as a sandstorm descended on the capital, the Green Zone faced a barrage of mortar fire:
‘ Thunderous explosions resounded throughout the evening as rockets or mortar shells slammed into the heavily fortified area in central Baghdad. . .
Sirens wailed in the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and much of the Iraqi government on the west side of the Tigris River. The public address system warned people to “duck and cover” and stay away from windows.
The U.S. Embassy confirmed the area was hit by indirect fire, the military’s term for rocket or mortar attacks, but said it had no immediate word on casualties.’
There were also clashes between forces loyal to the al-Maliki government and Mahdi Army militiamen in parts of Baghdad.
On Saturday, mortar fire killed 8 and wounded 42 in the area around the Green Zone.
Turkey launched another major operation in eastern Anatolia near Iraq, deploying 8,000 troops against guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). There are fears that the Turkey military will once again invade northern Iraq, where it maintains PKK terrorists hole up.
The USG Open Source Center translates a sermon of Shaykh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbala’i from last Friday. His remarks indicate his discomfort, despite being a supporter of the al-Maliki government, both with the planned Bush-al-Maliki ‘agreement’ on US-Iraqi relations (which many Iraqis fear will detract from Iraqi sovereignty) and with the al-Maliki- US campaign against Sadr City (which he blames on the lawlessness of the Mahdi Army):
‘ “Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, imam and preacher of Friday sermon in Karbala, said that the long-term agreement, which will be signed with the United States, should not conflict with national sovereignty. He urged the officials to take the sensitivity of this issue into consideration.”
Al-Karbala’i says: “We hope that the Iraqi officials will be very alert to the sensitivity and seriousness of the unresolved issues in these talks. These issues affect the Iraqi sovereignty in the security, political, and judicial fields. The brothers should pay attention to the sensitivity and seriousness of these unresolved issues, which would perhaps shackle the Iraqi people, the current government, and the coming Iraqi governments in a way that encroaches on the sovereignty of the country and people in these important aspects. Any loss in Iraq’s sovereignty should not be accepted, whether in the security, political, or judicial fields.”
The report says: “In his Friday sermon, Al-Karbala’i called on the government to take urgent measures to alleviate the suffering of Al-Sadr City’s citizens who were harmed by the outlaws’ crimes.” ‘
McClatchy reports political violence on Sunday:
– Two roadside bombs targeted an Iraqi Army foot patrol near Filis restaurant in Mansour, downtown Baghdad killing 1 officer, injuring 4 servicemen and 2 civilians.
– Roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in al-Amin neighbourhood, east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.
– A car bomb driven by a suicide bomber targeted a National Police patrol in Shaab Stadium intersection killing 3, injuring 14 both civilians and police.
– Clashes broke out between security forces and gunmen in Um al-Maalif, Bayaa district, southwest Baghdad late Saturday, and continued through the night. 1 civilian was killed, 15 were injured, 4 of whom were children.
– A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy near the Assyrian Party headquarters in Zayuna, east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.
– Around 4 pm, 3 mortars hit the industrial compound in Amil neighborhood(west Baghdad) .One person was killed and 7 others were injured. Later,Clashes took place in the neighborhood which became in a siege till the time of having this report posted .
– Around 4 pm, 3 mortars hit Baladiyat neighborhood (east Baghdad) targeting Wahran intermediate school .Five people were injured in that incident.
– Around 5 pm, a car bomb targeted an Iraqi patrol at Jamaa neighborhood (west Baghdad) near Mulla Hweesh mosque .One soldier was killed and eight others were injured including 5 civilians .
– Around 4:30 till 6 pm, eight mortars shells and rockets hit the green zone (IZ) downtown Baghdad. No casualties reported.
– Around 5 pm, 6 mortars hit Kadhimiyah neighborhood (north Baghdad)at Al-Muheet street .One person was killed and 6 others were injured.
– Police found 6 dead bodies in Baghdad today: 4 were found in east Baghdad(Risafa bank) ; 3 were in Ameen and 1 was in Mashtal . While 2 were found in west Baghdad (Karkh bank); 1 was in Dora and 1 was Bayaa.
– A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest targeted an Iraqi Police patrol in Qassim al-Khayat Square, downtown Mosul at 8 pm Saturday, killing 6, 4 of them civilians and injuring 5, 3 of them civilians.
– Gunmen killed 1 civilian in al-Maash market, central Mosul at 8 am.
– In the morning, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Al-Zihour neighborhood (east Mosul).Two civilians were injured in that incident.
– Before noon, gunmen opened fire one of the houses in Al-Quds neighborhood in downtown Mosul city. Two people were killed in that incident (a woman and a man ).
– A roadside bomb targeted one of the headquarters of the Popular Committees at Mualmeen neighborhood in central Baquba. Three people were injured in that incident.
– A mass grave was uncovered in an orchard in al-Gubba area, al-Abbara district, 15 km to the north of Baquba at 2.15 Sunday by Iraqi Army and Sahwa council members. The mass grave contained 50 bodies in an advanced state of decomposition.
– A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al-Quds Street, al-Tiseen neighbourhood, south Kirkuk city on Saturday. The explosion injured 3 policemen.
– 1 woman killed,2 men and 2 children injured in an explosion of a car bomb in al-Qadisiyah neighbourhood, northeast Samaraa city, 120 km to the north of Baghdad. The car was parked near some concrete blast walls and was detonated by remote control at 1.30pm.
– Around 9:30 pm, gunmen opened fire on two police officers in downtown Tikrit .Police announced a curfew in the city till a further notice.
– At dawn , 9 gunmen attacked Al-Khaldiyah police station(25 km east of Ramadi) with light and mid weapons . One gunman was killed and two others were injured who were captured by police with the rest of the group when police opened fire on them. Also two policemen were injured in that incident. ‘