U.S. tactics seen raising Iraqi cleric?s support

[ Aljazeera reports today that the deputy governor and “sixteen of Najaf’s 30-member provincial council resigned in protest at the US-led assault on the Najaf,” denouncing what they called “the hasty US invasion and bombardment of Najaf.”

“I resign from my post denouncing all the US terrorist operations that they are doing against this holy city,” Jawdat Kadam Najim al-Kuraishi, deputy governor of Najaf, said on Thursday morning.

On Thursday evening, the director of tribal affairs at the Iraqi Interior ministry announced his resignation through Aljazeera and said he could no longer work with the interim government in good faith given the “carnage and barbaric aggression of the US-led forces in Najaf”.

–BL ]

Aug. 12, 2004 | MSNBC.com

Shiites, Sunnis denounce fighting in holy city of Najaf

BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Shiite merchants around Baghdad’s Kazimain Mosque have historically opposed the ways of Moqtada al-Sadr and his father, but they condemned the U.S. offensive against the cleric and his followers Thursday.

Iraqis are becoming appalled by the U.S. use of bombers, tanks, helicopters, thousands of Marines and the surrounding of the Imam Ali shrine in a battle to dislodge Moqtada’s lightly armed militiamen from the holy city of Najaf. They say such tactics will not help stabilize Iraq.

“If the United States kills Moqtada it will be a tragedy for Iraq and the whole of Shiism. I do not particularly like some of his criminal followers, but bloodletting should stop,” said Mohammad Aziz, who imports textiles from Asia.

“The Americans do not realize that the Iraqis they are massacring are our cousins and relatives.

Read the rest of the story at MSNBC.com.

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