Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Objective Zero Hunger: How to reduce chronic food shortages?

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

A pretty picture: Investing in the booming contemporary art market

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US backs off branding China a currency manipulator

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'No free press in Arab world': Washington Post publishes Khashoggi's last column

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Gay couple speak out on surrogacy: 'It's not about exploiting someone'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Global competitiveness report ranks African countries

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Brexit: 'The end isn't nigh'

Read more

THE DEBATE

Where do you draw the line? Brexit deadline summit stumbles over Irish border

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Uighurs and Kazakhs held in re-education camps in China

Read more

Middle East

Iraq's Sadr says to halt attacks on US troops

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-09-11

Anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called on his followers to cease all attacks against US forces operating in Iraq. But he cautioned that if US troops do not leave by the end of the year, as promised, anti-American violence would resume.

Reuters - Iraq's fiercely anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday called on his followers to  suspend attacks against U.S. troops to ensure they leave Iraq by  a year-end deadline.

But he warned that if U.S. forces do not depart on time, military operations would resume and would be "very severe".

"Because of my eagerness to accomplish the independence of Iraq and have the invader forces withdraw from our holy land, it has become imperative for me to stop military operations until the invader forces complete their withdrawal," Sadr said in a statement read out by his spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi.

American troops are scheduled to withdraw fully by Dec. 31 and Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia fought U.S. forces until 2008, warned last month than U.S. military trainers who stayed beyond 2011 would be targets.

While Sadr's Mehdi Army militia has for the most part been demobilised, U.S. officials say splinter groups have continued to attack U.S. soldiers.

Iraq's political leaders are currently negotiating with the United States on the sensitive issue of whether to keep U.S. military on as trainers beyond 2011, more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi security forces are seen to be capable of tackling internal threats, but say they still need training for their air and naval defences, and some heavy conventional weaponry.

Sadr's political movement is a key ally to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his fragile coalition mix of Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Date created : 2011-09-11

  • IRAQ

    Al-Sadr supporters stage 'referendum' on a future prime minister

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Anti-US cleric al-Sadr returns to Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Former PM Allawi, Shiite cleric al-Sadr in talks on forming govt

    Read more

COMMENT(S)