Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki angrily refutes US timeline plan for curbing violence and disavows US-led Sadr City raid

“I affirm that this government represents the will of the Iraqi people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it,” said Maliki, refuting the statement from US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in Baghdad Tuesday that the Iraqi government had agreed to a timeline for progress on security and the economy. The Iraqi PM complained he had not been consulted on a US-Iraq raid of the teeming Shiite Sadr City slum of Baghdad, which is dominated by the anti-US cleric Moqtada Sadr, and insisted “that it will not be repeated.”
At least 4 killed and 18 injured in the fighting in Sadr City overnight.
The US military reported that Iraqi army special forces backed by US advisers had sought a top armed group commander directing a death squad in eastern Baghdad. Maliki denied he had been informed of the raid and asked for clarifications. “Coordination is needed between Iraqi government and multinational forces,” he said.
He also appealed to neighboring countries to stop meddling in Iraq’s affairs, in apparent endorsement of US accusations that Iran and Syria are aiding Sunni and Shiite armed groups and al Qaeda terrorists.

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