Shiite cleric warns that US troops will be attacked

Shiite cleric warns that US troops will be attacked

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen hold up their weapons as they gather to show their readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities on June 16, 2014 in the capital Baghdad. Faced with a militant offensive sweeping south toward Baghdad, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced the Iraqi government would arm and equip civilians who volunteer to fight, and thousands have signed up. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 11:04 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — A Shiite cleric in Iraq is warning that the 300 U.S. military advisers that President Barack Obama plans to send to Iraq will be attacked.

The cleric, Nassir al-Saedi, is loyal to the anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (mook-TAH'-duh ahl SAH'-dur), whose militia fought the Americans in at least two rounds of street warfare during the eight years U.S. troops were in Iraq.

At a sermon today in Baghdad's Sadr City district, al-Saedi issued a warning to what he called "the occupier," saying, "We will be ready for you if you are back."

Meanwhile, there's more pressure on Iraq's prime minister today -- with a call from the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite majority for a new "effective" government. The comments at Friday prayers contained thinly veiled criticism that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) is to blame for the continuing offensive by Sunni militants.

%@AP Links

131-c-21-(Hamza Hendawi (HAHM'-zah hehn-DAH'-wee), AP correspondent)-"for all Iraqis"-AP correspondent Hamza Hendawi reports the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite majority has called for a new, effective government, increasing pressure on the country's prime minister as an offensive by Sunni militants rages on. (20 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *131 (06/20/14)££ 00:21 "for all Iraqis"

132-c-16-(Hamza Hendawi (HAHM'-zah hehn-DAH'-wee), AP correspondent)-"and the Levant"-AP correspondent Hamza Hendawi reports the spiritual leader's comments came close to blaming Iraq's Shiite prime minister for the nation's latest crisis. (20 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *132 (06/20/14)££ 00:16 "and the Levant"

GRAPHICSBANK: Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint belonging to Iraqi Army, Beiji, Iraq, graphic element on gray (20 Jun 2014)

APPHOTO XKK113: An Iraqi boy wears a tiny replica of an army uniform as of followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attend open-air Friday prayers, in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, June. 20, 2014. The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite majority called for a new, "effective" government Friday, increasing pressure on the country's prime minister as an offensive by Sunni militants rages on.(AP Photo/Karim Kadim (20 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO XKK113 (06/20/14)££

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