Iraq: August 29, 2004


  The four senior Shia clerics in Iraq met, and announced that armed resistance is not a suitable way to protest against the presence of foreign troops. At least not yet, saying that some unspecified time in the future, the use of violence might be justified. Until now, the Shia clergy had been vague about whether fighting the coalition troops was justified. But after months of the Sadr militia fighting American troops (and losing big time), and the Sadr militia terrorizing, and sometime killing, Shia civilians, the attitudes have changed. Al Sadr is also suspected of being responsible for the murder of several Shia clerics (who resisted Sadr's gunmen.)

In Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad, some Sadr gunmen, or at least armed men who say they support Sadr, continue to fight police and American troops. But most U.S. troops are turning their attention to strongholds of Sunni Arab resistance, like Falluja. 


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