Powerful Shiite Threatens to End Cease-fire

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Iraq's influential anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is threatening to end his cease-fire as soon as Saturday.

The powerful shiite leader told his militia to stand down six months ago.

How could this impact the security situation in Iraq? Watch for more from Pete Hegseth, with Vets for Freedom.

Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is among the most powerful militias in Iraq. The cease-fire he ordered last August has been credited with helping reduce violence around Iraq by 60 percent.

A spokesman for al-Sadr said that if the cleric failed to issue a statement by Saturday extending the ceasefire, "then that means the freeze is over." Al-Sadr's followers would be free to resume attacks.

If his fighters resume their attacks, it would jeopardize recent security gains that have led to the sharp drop in violence.

While the U.S. has welcomed the cease-fire, it also continued raids against what it calls Iranian-backed breakaway factions of the Mahdi Army militia.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police held funerals Wednesday for 14 officers killed the night before as they responded to a rocket attack launched from a predominantly Shiite neighborhood against U.S. bases in the capital.

A U.S. military spokesman also said a U.S. civilian was killed and a number of U.S. troops and civilian personnel were wounded in a previously unreported rocket attack in the southeastern area of Rustamiyah on Tuesday night.

Source: The Associated Press

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