Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mehdi Army's Disinformation Campaign

An Iraqi army soldier stands guard at a vehicle checkpoint at the entrance to Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Sadr City, Iraq, Sunday, March 4, 2007. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers entered the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday in the first major push into the area since an American-led security sweep began last month around Baghdad. (AP Photo/Adil al-Khazali)

Mar 4, 4:46 PM (ET)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi troops poured into Baghdad's main Shiite militia stronghold Sunday, encountering no resistance in the one-time Sadr City combat zones but testing the Shiites' commitment to the U.S.-promoted campaign to drive militants from the capital.

Outside Baghdad, U.S. soldiers described a raid last week that uncovered a suspected Sunni "torture site" and the rescue of two Iraqi captives, who apparently had been spared immediate execution because the militants' video camera broke and they wanted to film the killing.

The quiet but dramatic advance in Sadr City - involving nearly 1,200 U.S. and Iraqi forces who didn't fire a shot - marked one of the most significant developments in the security clampdown in Baghdad since it took effect nearly three weeks ago.'

From Iraq The Model: 'Meanwhile Iraqi and American forces are increasing their presence in and around Sadr city. Today hundreds of American and Iraqi solders swept through Jamila district just north of Sadr city. They searched homes and shops without meeting any resistance.

The Mehdi army is not responding to the raids with fire, but they are trying to undermine the security plan by spreading rumors about alleged crimes committed by US soldiers, specifically against the Shia. The latest of these rumors was a ridiculous one I heard yesterday from a taxi driver from Sadr city. His story, quite similar to one told by a Sadr city council member, is that US soldiers are raiding Shia homes, arresting innocent civilians, and then dumping them at night near strongholds of Sunni insurgents, blindfolded and handcuffed so that the insurgents would find them defenseless and slaughter them!'

No comments :