Thursday, March 15, 2007

Caldwell: US keeping close track of Sadr, says he's in Iran, refuses to say if he's subject to arrest in Iraq

Where's Sadr?: Last month a US military spokesman said that Sadr had left Iraq for Iran. Sadr's aides deny this, as does Tehran, but it has been many weeks since Sadr appeared in public or attended prayers at his mosque outside Kufa. In April, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued an arrest warrant, alleging his involvement in a homicide, and U.S. military commanders expressed an intention to "capture or kill" him. No action was ever taken on the arrest warrant.

U.S. forces are keeping a close track on Moqtada al Sadr and they believe he is in Iran, a U.S. general said on Wednesday, but he declined to say whether the anti-American Shi'ite cleric was a wanted man.

Just a few months ago, Washington called Sadr's Mehdi Army militia the greatest threat to security in Iraq. The radical young cleric headed uprisings against U.S. forces twice in 2004, but his political movement is now an important party in the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki...

Asked at a news conference in Baghdad why U.S. forces were tracking Sadr if they were not hunting him, Caldwell declined to say if he was a wanted man or not.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Related Link:
Report: Maliki 'cabinet reshuffle' to include arrests of up to 100