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Disarmament for Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq????


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With al-Sadr hiding in Iran could there be substance to this?

FLASH: US in Disarmament Discussions with Elements of Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq

By Richard Miniter, PJM Washington Editor

The U.S. is in serious discussions with commanders of the Mahdi Army to lay down their arms, an intelligence officer directly involved in Iraq operations told Pajamas Media Tuesday.

The American intelligence official spoke under the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

The Mahdi Army, a predominantly Shia Muslim force led by Moqter al-Sadr, has terrorized Sunnis into fleeing certain Baghdad neighborhoods and has been linked to Iran. Al-Sadr has disappeared from the Iraqi capital and is widely believed to have holed up in Iran. Al-Sadr’s family and senior officers are believed, by elements of American intelligence in Iraq, to have left with him.

With al-Sadr’s paymasters gone many mid-level commanders are unpaid. And so are the fighters under them. (In the Mahdi Army, commanders are responsible for the financial well-being of the men under their command.) Some have resorted to extortion, robbery and violent crimes. They are desperate for money. And they are also being hunted by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers throughout Iraq.

This has created a unique opportunity for American and allied troops, intelligence sources say.

Through intermediaries — known in spook-speak as “assets” — a handful of Mahdi Army leaders have approached allied forces and begun negotiating.

The source did not say whether immunity from criminal liability or the promise of payments were under discussion.

If these negotiations bear fruit, the Mahdi Army could be well on its way to being dismantled , commander by commander, fighter by fighter.


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I wouldn't hold my breath.

True. But this is what I have said all along HAS to happen before Baghdad can become stable. Al Sadr really needs to die. The surge has hit Sadr right between the eyes. Teh Mahdi militia knows it can stand toe-to-toe with a few of our soldiers. But when it comes to fighting them standing up, we kill them every time. If they can get Sadr city stable, then all of Baghdad should fall into line. Theoretically.

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