Iraq’s Sadar Says He Will Continue to Oppose US Forces but Won’t Reactivate His Mahdi Army

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Context

Anti-American Shi’te cleric Muqtada al-Sadar has withdrawn a threat to revive his powerful Mahdi militia, but said that a special unit “Promised Day Brigade” would oppose US forces in case they extended their stay in Iraq beyond the end of this year. Sadar, who has close ties to Iran, also announced he would freeze “the activities of the Mahdi Army,” regardless of whether the Americans remained. The decision was taken “because of criminal acts that were committed – or could be committed by people claiming to be members of the Mahdi Army,” he added.

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