Massive assault on Najaf?

what the heck is going on -

US warplanes pound Iraq's holy city
From correspondents in Najaf
September 6, 2004

US warplanes spearheaded a massive two-pronged assault to crush a Shiite Muslim uprising in Iraq's city of Najaf.

Jets screeched overhead as massive explosions and tank and machine-gun fire boomed through the city and smoke engulfed its historic centre, home to the Imam Ali shrine, revered by Shiites all over the world.

Thousands of US forces, backed by Iraqi police and national guard, mounted a pincer movement to trap Moqtada Sadr's fighters in the heart of the city, before going on to raid the militia leader's empty home.

Iraqi and US troops sealed approaches to the mausoleum, as hundreds of terrified residents, urged on by attacking forces and the city's mosques, fled through the dusty streets.

"Leave the city. Help coalition forces and do not fire at them," one announcement instructed in Arabic. "We are here to liberate the city."

wasn't the Sadr issue defused due to intervention by Sistani? If so, it will need to be re-defused after this.

Google News reveals that only international outlets are carrying the story. At present, domestic media hasn't caught up.


Dan said...

I thought that the Mahdi Army, which was the main problem in An Najaf, had been run out of town by a combination of Sistani and the US marines, much to the relief of the locals.

So ... who are we bombing?

Aziz Poonawalla said...

good question. the only question, in fact.

Dan said...

To further keep issues murky, UPI is reporting an anti-Sadri demonstration in An Najaf.

I'm still quite confused as to what's going on ...