Friday, June 20, 2008

You and What Army?

Moqtada al Sadr and his Mahdi Army complain a lot about the ongoing campaign against the Shia thugs, but in the end we keep nailing them:

Iraqi troops on Thursday arrested the top official in Amarah, a Muqtada al-Sadr loyalist, officials said, drawing swift condemnations from followers of the anti-U.S. cleric and raising tensions as a military operation against Shiite militias got under way.

Rafia Abdul-Jabbar, who also was acting deputy governor for Maysan province, was seized from his office Thursday morning along with a member of the provincial council, a local official said.

The arrest came as Iraqi troops fanned out and gunmen tossed weapons on the streets or in canals with the official launch of the military crackdown in Amarah, a stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia and the purported center of weapons smuggling from neighboring Iran.

The military action came a day after the expiration of a four-day deadline for militants in Amarah to surrender their arms or face arrest.

Yet Sadr retains his image of strength. Go figure.