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Iraq

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Source: Middle East Monitor

The leader of the Shi’ite Sadrist movement in Iraq, Muqtada Al-Sadr, yesterday threatened to return his Al-Mehdi Army into the country.

Addressing what he described as “radical Sunni political leaders who want to return the booby traps,” Al-Sadr said that the Mehdi army was “frozen and not cancelled,” warning it would “return again.”

Al-Sadr’s remarks came in an interview with Iraq’s Al-Sharqiya.

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Sadr disarmed his militia after former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s troops — backed by the United States (US) forces — defeated them in Baghdad and southern cities in 2008. His movement has since become a potent force in mainstream politics.

US and Iraqi security officials say Mehdi Army splinter groups still pose a security risk, emerging in the form of Shi’ite militia that Washington says are backed by Iran.