Monday, August 23, 2004

Urban Warfare 101

The Multinational Forces have slowly been working their way, building by building, toward the Imam Ali mosque to the point now where the cordon is around 250 yards from the structure. The American military has been training for urban warfare for years, especially the last few years. I predict that the Mehdi army will run out of ammunition before too long and then there will some kind of surrender.

Here's the latest AP report:

NAJAF, Iraq - U.S. forces Monday drew near Najaf's revered Shiite shrine, engaging in fierce battles with followers of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as the military stepped up pressure on the insurgents to hand over the holy site to religious authorities.

Al-Sadr followers claimed that U.S. airstrikes overnight damaged an outer wall of the Imam Ali Shrine compound, which remains in control of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. The U.S. military said the strikes targeted militants' positions south of the shrine but did not hit the wall. There was no independent confirmation of the damage.

Gunfire rang out in the city throughout the day, and black smoke rose over the Old City, a neighborhood of small, twisting alleyways where fighters from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army have been holed up and where the walled, golden-domed shrine is located.

Tanks approached within 250 yards of the shrine, their closest move in days, and U.S. snipers were on rooftops around the holy site, witnesses said.

The size of the al-Sadr's forces in the Old City appeared to have decreased Monday with the U.S. advance, witnesses said. Fewer fighters were seen in the streets and some were seen leaving Najaf, residents said. Militant medical officials said at least two insurgents were killed and four others injured.

Early Monday, explosions shook the city as militiamen fired mortars at U.S. troops, who responded with artillery.


AYS whups Muqtada Al-Sadr upside the head.

The people hate him, the MNF hate him, the Grand Ayatollahs in Iraq hate him, his followers will run out of arms soon and the government offers a single open door for him to get out of this difficult situation, but he’s trying foolishly to find another possible solution and making use of the place he is in….the shrine, by the way, using the shrine is a good idea, if the IP or any armed force do not have the right to enter it, so all the thieves and murders can hide inside the shrine and no one dares to arrest them since they are in a holy place!

Muqtada is in a big trouble, his attempts failed, his followers are being killed and the city is completely closed..

I hope the government continues on this plan, destroying him psychologically (of course I prefer breaking into the shrine and kill or arrest him, but this might be Allawi’s last plan).

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