Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has given his supporters, who have been clashing since yesterday with rival pro-Iranian Shiite groups and the military in Baghdad, a deadline of “60 minutes” to leave the Green Zone, threatening to disown them if they don’t.
Already the Sadrists have begun to withdraw from the Green Zone, according to images broadcast by Iraqi television.
“I apologize to the Iraqi people, the only ones affected by the events,” Sadr said during a news conference from his stronghold of Najaf in central Iraq.
“This is not revolutionary (anymore) because it has lost its peaceful character,” added the priest. “It is forbidden to shed Iraqi blood,” he stressed.
Since last Monday, when Sadr announced his final retirement from politics, the Peace Brigades, an armed group under his command, have clashed with Hashd al-Shaabi, a paramilitary, pro-Iranian group that has joined the regular forces, and the military.
So far 23 supporters of Sadr have lost their lives in these clashes.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.