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Following ceasefire agreement, Sadr City still dreams of peace
16/05/2008 17:11:00

Baghdad (NINA)- With reaching a ceasefire agreement between negotiating delegations representing the Sadr Trend and the United Iraqi Alliance last Saturday, Sadr City inhabitants, worn out by the constant battles since last March, are looking forward to be relieved of their daily nightmares of military aerial and ground strikes.

Five days later to the agreement -which included enabling government's force of seizing unauthorized weapons, clearing streets of mines, lifting movement restrictions and pursuing wanted individuals-, Sadr City residents had their first peaceful night in 50 days last Wednesday night, following a declaration by Salah al-Ubaydi, head of the Sadrist negotiating team and spokesman for Muqtada al-Sadr, that Thursday would be the first day of applying the agreement's terms.

Over statements made earlier by a group alleging affiliation to Mehdi Army that they will not halt military actions in Sadr City "unless Muqtada al-Sadr attends in Kufa mosque near Najaf- to order the ceasefire in person," Ubaydi described the statements as "an attempt to shuffle cards and confuse things," asserting that Muqtada al-Sadr had issued a statement, authorizing the negotiating delegation in that respect and calling upon Sadrist supporters to adhere to the terms and conditions of whatever agreement the delegation reaches to.

MP Ali al-Adeeb, a leader in Da'wa party headed by Premier al-Maliki, has expected the reached agreement between the Sadr Trend and the Alliance "to isolate those who falsely allege affiliation to the Sadr Trend," calling the Sadr Trend's followers to make a distinction between supporters who adhere to the agreement and those "who aim at aborting it by using doubtful pretexts to attain personal interests and covert agendas, unknown to Iraqi citizens."

The American forces in Iraq accuse the "Iranian revolutionary Guards-related Special Groups members" of launching nearly 1,000 mortar shells and rockets from Sadr City, targeting various areas of Baghdad, on top of which was the International Green- Zone of central Baghdad. The US military also accuses those Special Groups of targeting American and Iraqi forces as well as Iraqi civilians.

The Kurdistani Alliance MP Mahmoud Othman said Iran wanted to prove to the United States and the world that it can stir up the conflict in Iraq and bring it to a halt whenever it wishes, aiming to use the issue as a pressure factor upon the US administration, calling upon the Iraqi ministries of foreign affairs, interior and national security to assume their role to face the Iranian interferences in Iraq, "as most of them are of security nature."

The Iraqi government has announced, just after the return of a United Iraqi Alliance's delegation from Iran, forming a commission that includes representatives of the office of the armed forces' commander, the ministries of defence interior and national security "to document the Iranian interference in Iraq's issues."

Media reports indicate that the UIA delegation has presented to Iranian officials "clear evidence of the negative Iranian role that has contributed to deterioration in Iraq's security, via supplying armed groups with various types of weapons and explosives, in addition to hold training camps for those groups' members in the Iranian territories."

Iran, according to Iranian officials, totally rejects the interference accusations, asserting that it sustains "Maliki's elected government" as well expressing resolve to promote relations with Iraq on all levels. However things did not exactly run smoothly during the Alliance delegation's visit to Iran, as some media reports quoted "Iraqi source present with the UIA delegation" as saying that the delegation was harshly criticized by the hard line Iranian leaders, who rejected the interference proofs the delegation had presented among them weapons with Iranian-made brands. Moreover, the Iranian leaders have accused Iraq's leaders of surrender to Washington's policies and forgetting the aid, Iran had presented throughout years for Saddam regime's opposition. General Qasim Sulaymani, commander of Quds Corps to which Special Groups are alleged to be affiliating- has severely criticized the Iraqi leaders, considering them as providing an outpost for US troops at Iran's threshold.

Political analysts opine that PM al-Maliki needs to calm down the situation in Baghdad, as the government forces have launched recently a major security campaign targeting al-Qaeda militants in the northern province of Nineveh, while the Sadr Trend also needs to redo calculus and evaluate the political developments and the military situation of its militants, especially in Baghdad, after being under intense unprecedented military pressures, manifested through the precise strikes by US unmanned aircrafts, attack Apaches, F-16 jet fighters as well as the powerful Abrams tanks.

To sum up things, Iraqi people fear the consequences of the recent ceasefire agreement's failure, as that might aggravate political conflicts which would certainly be reflected on the country's security, a possibility Iraqis consider as a tunnel with no light at the end. /End/

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