SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Iraq

Fri May 14 2004 najaf
5/14/2004: On May 6th, the US began its first major assault on Shi'ite insurgents. Troops entered Diwaniya and Karbala and attacking strongholds of Sadr's Mehdi militia. Also on the 6th, the US appointed Adnan al-Dhurfi as the governor for the city of Najaf, moving tanks into the city to "secure" the governor's offices. Sadr's initial response was in Basra where hundreds of militia men took over portions of the city, but within a day the British claimed to have quelled the revolt. On Friday May 7th, Sadr's Shi'ite supporters were invited to pray at Sunni mosques in Baghdad in a show of unity against the US occupation. Sadr himself spoke at a mosque in Kufa demanding that Bush face trial for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The US assault on Karbala continued into the weekend. On Saturday May 8th, the US attacked the Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad and destroyed offices belonging to Sadr's supporters. While dozens were killed in the US raid, Iraqis stood strong in the face of the US assault, as Baghdad residents quickly gathered to help rebuild the buildings destroyed by the US. Unrest continued throughout the week in Najaf and Karbala. Insurgents also blasted an oil pipeline, slashing Iraq's daily oil exports by about 25 per cent. On Thursday May 13th, fighting in Karbala intensified with battles taking place near the Imam Abbas and Imam Hussein shrines. On Friday May14th, US tanks attacked Sadr militia members in the cemetary in Najaf. As US tanks moved in, fire from the tanks damaged the dome of the Shrine of Ali, the most sacred Shi'ite holy site.

"Sadr and SCIRI are the two main Shia parties controlling the southern region of Iraq now, but the party and militias of Sadr are much more popular" On May 7th, "the SCIRI spokesman indirectly announced the beginning of the new Shia-Shia conflict. From the SCIRI position, I think they find themselves committed to criticizing any anti-occupation movement, because they are the main player in the GC[Governing Council]". The most popular religious leader in Iraq, Sistani has been quiet during the latest fighting and hasn't even made a statement about the pictures of torture and humiliation in US prison camps. The latest fighting in Najaf and the damage done to Shi'ite holy sites will guarantee some sort of response. If Sistani sides with the US he could lose much of his support and spark a civil war and if he sides with Sadr he will lose much of his power over US backed Shi'ites in the governing Council. He will almost certainly try to ride the fence, but his unwillingness to take tough stands on issues that are impacting the Shi'ite holy cities is already starting to chip away at his popularity.

06/24/15 UC Santa Cruz Students Who Blocked Highway Call for Court Support   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/24/15 Multiple Demonstrations at US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco   Government & Elections
06/22/15 Family Seeks Justice After Beating by Salinas Police is Captured on Video   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/22/15 Santa Cruz Grand Jury Report Details Increasing Need for Emergency Homeless Shelters   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/22/15 Alvarez Organized Latino Social Workers, Fought for Immigration Reform   Labor & Workers | California
06/22/15 Marten’s Decline Attributed to Destruction of Old-Growth Forest Habitat by Logging   Environment & Forest Defense | North Coast
06/18/15 Vigil Blocks Intersection for Two Hours to Signify Length of OPD Siege that Led to Killing   Police State and Prisons
06/18/15 Santa Cruz Takes the Pledge to Mobilize at the Climate Mobilization Rally   Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/18/15 Demonstrators Say Serra used Kidnapping, Slavery to Forward "Radical Evangelical Movement"   Racial Justice | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/07/15 Police Officers Violently Arrest Man in the Middle of North Main Street in Salinas   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/04/15 Contingent Faculty Members Teach Over Half of the UC's Undergraduate Credit Hours   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia