Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Middle East Theatre – Iraq: Tehran – Baghdad/London – Washington; Priming Muqtada al-Sadr Mehdi Army – Tehran Detonates Bomb in Sadr City Market – 66 Killed – Sunni Group Blamed
Night Watch: SADR CITY – Reuters reports that a bomb in a crowded market in a poor section of Sadr City has killed more than 60 people and wounded more than a hundred. It was timed for mid-morning Saturday when the market would be at its busiest on the first day of the Islamic week. It has been blamed on an unknown Sunni group, Supporters of the Sunni People. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
This is Tehran’s timing. The explosion took place after the leader of the Shia militia Mehdi Army, militant cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, decreed during Friday prayers and sermon, that no quarter should be given to “Shi’ite haters.” The attack, and in his main base Sadr City, is designed by Tehran to trigger the next wave of instability in order to undermine the new Baghdad government unity coalition led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and lauded by London-Washington. al-Sadr knows he and his Mehdi Army are obliged to respond accordingly and already there are calls in the street for security to be turned over to the militias and away from the government in Baghad now being perceived as weak and ineffective. An American officer has admitted that ever since the three week security operation began, initiated by the Prime Minister, attacks have actually increased.
This is the same day the Prime Minister is making his first foreign trip, to Riyadh. With this news preceding him, and perhaps known in advance by the House of Saud, perhaps they will receive him sympathetically, understanding that he had no chance to succeed. They may tell him that he will not be the one taking most of the blame but instead the “foreign forces” occupying the country and who thought they could also occupy Iraq’s economy. No Islamic government, Sunni or Shi’ite, wanted to see the West successfully occupy an Islamic country. The House of Saud may actually thank al-Maliki for making the attempt and say someone had to even though it never could have worked.
Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army have been primed to answer the call and I suspect their first targets will be the Iraqi army-police units still working with the lost alliance, London-Washington. US/UK units will also be caught in the crossfire as their last plan for Iraq’s stability explodes all around them. The trap of Iraq is about to become deadlier. Exactly two months ago crossfirewar.com reported that the Mehdi Army had received 20 million more dollars from Tehran and was training at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran.
In a related incident today, to further discredit the new coalition government, a Sunni member of Parliament was kidnapped, along with her seven bodyguards. MP Taiseen Najah al-Mashhadani of the prominent Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front, the main Sunni bloc in Parliament, was driving to her constituency in unstable Diyala province. She was in northeastern Baghdad at the time of her abduction.