NYT reports that despite the truce announced Saturday, IEDs were going off in Sadr City when Iraqi troops drove in Sunday morning. No wonder, with terms like this:
[…] Iraqi forces would have free access to Sadr City, and militia members would not be allowed to have heavy weapons like machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades or mortars. In return, militia members who refrained from fighting Iraqi and American forces would not be arrested.
And JAM is supposed to have signed off on this??
Like almost everyone else in the Western media, I’ve been brainlessly ignorant of the intra-Shia squabbles, but thanks to a couple of brilliant ICG reports, Patrick Cockburn’s new book on al-Sadr, and a bunch of other stuff, I’m beginning to grasp the depressing complexity of the situation.
UPDATE: Reuters reports that clashes have continued on Monday, adding: “The violence indicates some gunmen claiming loyalty to Sadr are ignoring a weekend deal by Shi’ite factions to end fighting between U.S.-backed security forces and militiamen […]” Could these be the same criminal elements who’ve been stirring up trouble all along, defying valiant efforts by Muqtada and Nouri to bring about everlasting peace…?