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Moqtada al-Sadr: The attack on Erbil and the recent violence in Iraq aims to block the Pope’s visit. The Holy Father’s mission, however, does not change. He will be in the Middle Eastern country for three days from March 5th
Was the attack on the Inherent Resolve base in Erbil launched to block Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq in March? The Shiite imam Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Mahdi Army and the Sadrist movement, a militia linked to Iran, is convinced of this. According to him, the escalation of violence recently recorded in the Middle Eastern country has a specific purpose: to make the Holy Father postpone or even cancel the mission. By the way, he also cited as an example the Turkish operations on the border of Kurdistan, the tensions in Sinjar and the sudden violence in the south. However, analysts believe the motivation is weak. It is no coincidence that the Iraqi foreign ministry has confirmed that the trip will take place according to schedule. Pope Francis will arrive in Baghdad on March 5 and then move to Najaf to meet Imam Ali al-Sistani. He then he will fly to Erbil and celebrate great mass with the Christians in Iraq.
The analysts: Al-Sadr’s theory is an attempt to buy time and try to resolve the crisis before it’s too late for the pro-Iran militias. Indeed, the attack on Inherent Resolve was a big mistake
Al-Sadr’s words have a very specific purpose: to try to instill doubts among investigators to remove suspicions about pro-Iran militias and take time to seek a solution to the crisis. It is certain, in fact, that the attack on Erbil was a big mistake, as it made them a target of Inherent Resolve and the Peshmerga. In addition, he has “alarmed” the enemy, which has strengthened both security at the bases and vigilance in the quadrant and especially on the borders of Kirkuk. Moreover, there are already some teams on the trail of the attackers. As a result, groups linked to Tehran have lost their freedom of movement, their best weapon to escape from adversary attacks.