Muqtada al-Sadr, Shiite leader of the Mahdi militia, warned the Iraq government he might end the self imposed cease fire which has held his men away from fighting American and Iraq armed forces. However, his comments did not stop US and Iraq military forces from continuing their efforts to defeat the Mahdi militia in their stronghold in Sadr City. At least 12 American soldiers have died since fierce fighting began on Sunday. Iraq soldiers banned the use of vehicles on the streets of the capital for the coming days. Al-Sadr told a press conference, “I call on the Iraqi government, if it exists, to work to protect the Iraqi people, stop the spilling of blood, and the abuse of its honor.” He wants the Iraq government to join with him in demanding evacuation of American forces from Iraq.
Confusion still reigns in Iraq as its government confronts a host of enemies and with the end of Sadr’s support, there are fewer allies around to be of assistance. One reality that must be faced is the present situation emerges as the surge concludes. There is still civil war in Iraq, Iraqi civilians are dying, and so are American soldiers.