The Happy Arab News Service

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another Nasrallah, Another Hezbollah

AFP (Baghdad)

An aide to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has accused US troops of aligning themselves with Sunni Arab rebels to attack Iraq's majority community.

"It is clear that there is a collaboration between US forces and Baathists. There is evidence of that," said Sahib al-Amiri Saturday, secretary general of the Martyrs of Allah, a Shiite religious body linked to Sadr's movement.

On Friday the Sadr group threatened to withdraw from the ruling national unity government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki goes ahead with his meeting with US President George W. Bush in Jordan next week.

But with Bush confirming that the meeting will take place, officials in the movement declined to confirm on Saturday if they would pull out of the government.

"Securing Baghdad and gaining control of the violent situation will be a priority agenda item when President Bush meets with Prime Minister Maliki in just a few days," White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel said on Friday.

Commenting on a helicopter strike by US forces in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Friday, Amiri said that the coalition forces were also linked with "the Al-Qaeda". (!!! LOL NB)

On Friday a US helicopter fired at alleged Shiite militiamen of Sadr's Mahdi Army as they launched mortar attacks from Sadr City.

Amiri also cited a Friday raid on Sadr's office in the flashpoint city of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, as yet another example of a joint operation by US forces and Sunni insurgents.

"The US forces raided the Sadr office and detained its employees. Before it withdrew it allowed Baathists and takfiris (Sunni extremists) to enter and set fire to the office and steal office property," he said.

On Friday a police officer from Baquba confirmed the US raid on Sadr's office in which five guards were detained and said that a few hours later, insurgents bombed the office and set it alight.

Amiri also said that ambulances carrying the wounded from Thursday's bombings in Baghdad's Sadr City were "ambushed by terrorists while US forces just stood by watching".

The Sadr movement is known for its strong anti-US sentiment and regularly accuses US forces of targeting it, especially in Sadr City, in night-time raids.



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