MidEast Crisis: Iraqi Cleric tells followers to target U.S. troops fighting ISIS

A Powerful Iraqi-Shi’ite cleric tells followers to target U.S. troops fighting Islamic State.

Military

As Written and Reported By REUTERS:

Powerful Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr instructed his followers on Sunday to target U.S. troops deploying to Iraq as part of the military campaign against Islamic State.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday the Pentagon would dispatch 560 additional troops to help Iraqi forces retake the northern city of Mosul in an offensive planned for later this year.

Sadr, who rose to prominence when his Mahdi Army battled U.S. troops after the 2003 invasion, posted the comments on his official website after a follower asked for his response to the announcement.

“They are a target for us,” Sadr said, without offering details.

The Mahdi Army was disbanded in 2008, replaced by the Peace Brigades, which helped push back Islamic State from near Baghdad in 2014 under a government-run umbrella, and maintains a presence in the capital and several other cities.

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Iraqi Shi’ite cleric tells followers to target U.S. troops …

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