A few weeks ago Sadr called on his followers to lay down their weapons in an effort to negotiate with the Iraqi Government and U.S. Coalition. Here’s a snippet from Reuters:
In his statement, Sadr called for an end to “random arrests” of his followers and for them to benefit from an amnesty law passed by parliament in February aimed at freeing thousands of prisoners from Iraqi jails.
The government welcomed Sadr’s statement but said it would press on with its campaign for control over Basra, which is divided up among various militias and criminal gangs.
The U.S Government has pressed on with their incarceration campaign and it has led Sadr to threaten another uprising.
From Raw Story:
“I am giving my last warning and my word to the Iraqi government to take the path of peace and stop violence against its own people, otherwise it will be a government of destruction,” he said in a statement issued by his office in the holy city of Najaf.
What does the U.S have to say about Sadr’s demands for peace and an end to incarcerating his followers? Time to get nervous:
A top US general on Sunday warned that the military would strike back after hardline Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to launch a new uprising by his militia.
“I hope Moqtada al-Sadr continues to depress violence and not encourage it,” said Major General Rick Lynch, commander of US forces in central Iraq.