JNN 13 June 2013 Najaf : Iraq’s most Revered Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatullah Sistani urged followers to take up arms against a full-blown Wahabi Terrorist Plot to topple Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a conflict that threatens civil war and a possible break-up of the country.
In a rare intervention at Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, a message from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the highest religious authority for Shi’ites in Iraq, said people and Political Factions should unite to fight back against a lightning advance by Terrorist from the Wahabi Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“People who are capable of carrying arms and fighting the terrorists in defense of their country … should volunteer to join the security forces to achieve this sacred goal,” said Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai, delivering Ayatullah Sistani’s message.
Those killed fighting ISIL militants would be martyrs, he said as the faithful chanted in acknowledgement.
The statement was Orignially issued on Tuesday after militants from the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh.
After taking the provincial capital of Mosul and parts of Kirkuk, the al-Qaeda-linked militants captured two areas of Iraq’s Salaheddin province as well.
A senior Iraqi Sunni figure has also issued a statement condemning the attacks on Iraqi cities by the ISIL.
Allameh Sheikh Ahmed Al-Kabisi has also issued a Fatwa (religious edict) saying it is a religious duty for all Muslims to fight the ISIL.
This comes as militants have already captured two provincial capitals this week, Tikrit in Salahuddin Province and Mosul in Nineveh.
Over the past days, Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad.
Terrorists under the black flag of ISIL are sweeping south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a mediaeval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria that has turned into a widespread rebellion against Maliki.
Amidst the spreading chaos, Iraqi Kurdish forces seized control of Kirkuk, an oil hub just outside their autonomous enclave that they have long seen as their historical capital, three days after ISIL fighters captured the major city of Mosul.
There are concerns that sectarian and tribal conflict might dismember Iraq into Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish entities. The atmosphere in Baghdad was tense on Friday, the streets were empty, residents were stock-piling food and arming themselves.
The ISIL advance has been joined by former Baathist officers who were loyal to Saddam as well as disaffected armed groups and tribes who want to oust Maliki. Cities and towns that have fallen to the militants so far have been mainly Sunni and the gains have largely been uncontested.
It had long been known that Mosul, a city of two million people, harbored not just ISIL but also the Baathist militant group the Naqshbandi Army, believed to be headed by Ezzat Ibrahim al Douri, a former close aide to Saddam.
After the fall of Saddam to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, officers from the old Iraqi army who had not been reconciled to the new order collected in the Mosu l area. The city’s proximity to the border with Syria allowed Baathists – Saddam’s political party – and Islamic radicals freedom of movement.
Reflecting fears that ISIL’s insurgency could erupt into a civil war and disrupt oil exports from a major OPEC member state, the price of Brent crude oil edged further above $113 a barrel on Friday, up about $4 since the start of the week.
Thrusting further to the southeast after their seizure of Mosul in the far north and Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, ISIL entered two towns in Diyala province bordering Iran.
Saadiyah and Jalawla had fallen to the Wahabi Terrorists after government troops fled their positions.
Iraqi army units subsequently subjected Saadiyah and Jalawla to artillery fire from the nearby town of Muqdadiya. ISIL fighters eventually withdrew from Jalawla and well-organized Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took over.
MUQTADA AL SADR HOLDS FIRE
Despite the call to arms from Ayatullah Sistani, influential Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who led revolts against U.S. forces, has not called on his followers to mobilize. At Friday prayers, his faithful were told to wait for directions in the coming days on how to form “peace regiments” that will defend holy sites.
IRAQI SHIA MEN FLOCK TO ARMY RECRUITMENT CENTERS
Iraqi men from all walks of life are flocking to recruitment centers to join the army in its fight against the ISIL militants.
Shi’ite militia were mobilizing to teach a lesson to the Wahabi Terrorist to Put a Collar to the Unleashed Wild Barbarians . Trucks carrying Shi’ite volunteers in uniform rumbled to front lines to defend Baghdad.
Hundreds of young Shia Iraqi men gripped by religious and nationalistic fervor streamed into volunteer centers across Baghdad Saturday, answering a call by the country’s top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Wahabi Terrorists advancing in the north.
Volunteers from across Baghdad were ferried in buses to a base in the eastern part of the city for training. In Some centers, dozens of them climbed onto the back of army trucks, chanting “Allah hu Akbar” , “ Nara e Hyderi ” , and “ Labaik Ya Hussain” Shiite slogans and hoisting assault rifles.
“By God’s will, we will be victorious.” said one volunteer, Ali Saleh Aziz. “We will not be stopped by the ISIL or any other terrorists.”
The massive response to the call by the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, which was issued via his representative on Friday.
Shiite cleric and political leader Ammar al-Hakim was shown on television networks donning a camouflaged military fatigue as he spoke to volunteers from his party, although he still wore his clerical black turban that designates him as a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
State-run television also aired a constant flow of nationalist songs, clips of soldiers marching or singing, flying aircraft, brief interviews with troops vowing to crush the Terrorists and archival clips of the nation’s top Shiite clerics.
Extensive clips of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s visit on Friday to the city of Samarra, home to a much revered Shiite shrine that was bombed in 2006, also were broadcast.
The footage was aired to Boost the Morale of the Forces and at the same to Give Confidence to the Public of Iraq that the forces are capable of counter any threat , Confident Looking al-Maliki seen praying at the Shiite shrine , after Pushing Back the Terrorist from the Sacred Grounds of Samara — an apparent reminder of his commitment to his faith and the protection of its followers. He also declared that Samarra would be the assembly point for the march farther north to drive out the Terrorists .
In an address to military commanders in Samarra, he warned that army deserters could face the death penalty if they don’t report back to their units. But he insisted the crisis had a silver lining.
“This is our chance to clean and purge the army from these elements that only want to make gains from being in the army and the police,” he said. “They thought that this is the beginning of the end but, in fact, we say that this is the beginning of their end and defeat,” he said.
Also Saturday, the Iraqi government’s counterterrorism department, said the son of Saddam’s vice president, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, was killed in an air raid by the Iraqi air force in Tikrit. It said Ahmed al-Douri was killed with some 50 other Saddam loyalists and ISIL fighters on Friday. The report could not be immediately verified.
They were responding to a call by Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric for Iraqis to defend their country against the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which in a lightning advance.