Anti-American Cleric's Power Grows, Upending Pentagon's Plans for Iraq Could Kurds throw support behind a Sadr-ruled Iraq? A cleric who once tormented America seems to have won Iraq's election Questions Mount About Possible Fraud in Iraq Vote Iran's Soleimani holds talks about future Iraqi cabinet

Anti-American Cleric's Power Grows, Upending Pentagon's Plans for Iraq

A political party led by Moktada al-Sadr, whose militia once targeted American troops, will wield considerable power in setting up Iraq’s next government.

National elections in Iraq have thrown into question how much American troops may continue to work with the Iraqis. Asked on Thursday about Mr. The partnering of United States forces with Sunni insurgents known as Sahwa, or the Awakening , against Al Qaeda in Iraq was a defining turning point in the war more than a decade ago. And in the election on May 12th they gave his nationalist bloc, Sairoun (“Marching to Reform”), the most seats in parliament.

Could Kurds throw support behind a Sadr-ruled Iraq?

But the exact number of seats won by each bloc in parliament is still unknown. Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. But the results of the weekend’s national elections in Iraq have torn the American assumptions asunder. Sadr, General Joseph. But the Pentagon will have its own balancing act to perform back in Washington. Unofficial results put it unexpectedly ahead, with 55 seats.

A cleric who once tormented America seems to have won Iraq's election

MUQTADA AL-SADR is a master at tapping Iraqi discontent. The firebrand Shia cleric (pictured) directed his supporters to attack the American troops who invaded Iraq in 2003. More recently he has led campaigns against corruption and foreign influence. His supporters ransacked government offices in 2016.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan won the most votes in Kirkuk, according to a partial count. Your subscription supports journalism that matters. Several complaints have been lodged in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic province which the central government has recently taken over from the Kurds. Trade Deficit with China Illegal Aliens Plan Social Justice Summer Camps Hamas Hijacks U.S. The group, also known as ISIS, is largely gone from the areas of Iraq that it occupied as recently as last year .

Trump has already expressed his desire to bring American troops home soon from Syria; officials said the president has given the Defense Department six months to wrap up its mission there. The bloc led by Iraq’s mild-mannered prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, came second, with 51. His bloc would need to form an inclusive coalition if it is to govern. Remarkably for a Shia, Mr Abadi’s list won Mosul, the Sunni stronghold once controlled by Islamic State (IS).

Questions Mount About Possible Fraud in Iraq Vote

The U.N. and Iraqi political leaders called for investigating electoral-fraud complaints and sought manual recounts in some districts, as questions intensified about the legitimacy of the recent parliamentary vote.

Soleimani’s Quds Force is the main foreign backer of Amiri’s Badr, which served as the backbone of Popular Mobilisation, a volunteers force set up to fight Islamic State. In an AP interview this week, al-Sadr’s spokesman, Salah al-Obeidi, indicated his group had moderated its views. Many voters there have disputed the result, arguing that the city’s Arab and Turkmen population exceeds the Kurdish population, thus making the count implausible.

Former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose Rule of Law Alliance falls behind the top three blocs in the partial results, has called for the commission to recount votes or cancel the elections. In The News... In 2014, the Islamic State rolled across Iraq , easily defeating the country’s army and controlling much of its northern and western regions. Iran now “has no motivation for a leader in Iraq who would be positive toward the United States,” said Vali Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Iran's Soleimani holds talks about future Iraqi cabinet

Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is holding talks with politicians in Baghdad to promote the formation of a new Iraqi cabinet which would have Iran's approval, two people familiar with the political process underway in Iraq said on Wednesday.

All this means that Mr Abadi may emerge as a swing player. Overall, the recounts being sought aren’t expected to affect the surprising election results from Saturday, when Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s coalition won the most seats. Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Editing by William Maclean Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. The election comes as the Trump administration is keenly focused on opposing Iran and preventing what the US sees as the Shiite-led nation’s malign influence in the Arab world.

The vote -- which saw record high abstentions -- was a slap in the face to the widely reviled elite that has dominated Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. The commander of foreign operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Qasim Soleimani, arrived in Iraq on the day of the parliamentary elections. Ensuring that history is not repeated is a top American priority, senior State Department and Pentagon officials said.

After upset Iraqi vote, US prepares to embrace a former foe

Washington is signaling ability to work with Muqtada al-Sadr, a one-time Iran-backed enemy who officials now say may be willing to back an American-friendly coalition

They could yet spoil his chances. By joining Messrs Amari and Maliki, he could restore the dominance of the fractured Shia house. China Rejects U.S. Apps Newsletters Reuters Plus Advertising Guidelines Cookies Terms of Use Privacy All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. Al-Sadr once sought refuge in Iran when the US was looking to capture him. Iraq’s use of an electronic voting system for the first time has led to instances throughout the country of confusion and voters being turned away for lacking updated voting cards.

During wait for Iraqi election results, political blocs scramble for influence

Allegations of fraud in the city of Kirkuk haven’t stopped Iran and the United States from trying to put their stamp on who becomes Iraq’s next prime minister.

But it is unlikely to sweep it away. Mr Amari may have failed to do as well in Iraq as his Iranian-backed counterpart, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, did in Lebanon’s recent election. However, if he teamed up with Mr Sadr’s Sairoun , he could put the country on a path towards less sectarian politics. The Wall Street Journal U.S. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. © 2018 Reuters.

Iran allies round on surprise Iraq vote winner

Iran and its allies were mustering a bid Wednesday to limit the role of fiery Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr in Iraq's next government after his shock election win reshaped the country's political landscape. The preacher, who was the bete noire of American forces during the US invasion, captured

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A 7 of the New York edition with the headline: Anti-American Cleric Upends Pentagon’s Plans for Iraq . Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor's Picks. But he still wields a lot of clout. Both camps suggest they may back Mr Abadi’s bid for a second term. Edition U.S. Can the US really set aside the past and embrace a cleric whose Mahdi Army killed US and Iraqi troops and was accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Sunni Iraqis?

UN calls on Iraq to probe election complaints

The UN on Thursday called for Iraq's electoral commission to "immediately and fully" investigate complaints by candidates and parties over the conduct of this month's legislative elections. "The commission has to act expeditiously in order to seriously address all complaints,&

Trainers include American, Italian and Spanish advisers, with equipment paid for by the United States. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe Related Coverage Iraqi Voters Strengthen Hand of Militia Leader Who Battled U.S. Claims of irregularities need resolving before results are final. His Badr forces dominate the interior ministry and fill the ranks of the federal police. In contrast to previous ballots, the election passed off without serious violence.

Iran's Soleimani playing role in Iraq government formation

Credit Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters As a young man, Mr. And having NATO serve as the public representative for the American-led mission in Iraq could serve as a workaround for Mr. May 14, 2018 Image Amid Iraqi Chaos, Moktada al-Sadr, an Old Provocateur, Returns Feb. Parliament then has to elect a president, who must ask the largest bloc to form a government. He is close to senior Iranians, who have in the past worked behind the scenes to cobble together a government.

Iraqi election results leave Iran scrambling to preserve influence

Iran is pushing its allies in Iraq, particularly the State of Law Coalition and the Fatah coalition, to form the largest bloc in the parliament in order to prevent Muqtada al-Sadr from leading the formation of the new government, which would affect Tehran's influence in the country.

Spotted an error on this page? Sadr led a Shiite militia that targeted American troops in Iraq. Sadr’s sensitivities, officials say. The firebrand Shia cleric (pictured) directed his supporters to attack the American troops who invaded Iraq in 2003. Then the real jostling for posts begins. And he has hedged his bets by meeting regularly with the American ambassador in Iraq. Party leaders of all hues curbed their sectarian barbs.

Iran Was the Big Winner in Iraq's Elections—And Trump Helped

Official election results are expected in the coming days. The Middle East Monitor 2009-2018. He fled to Iran to study in Qom, a revered Shiite religious center, before returning to Iraq in 2011 as a cleric and strident Iraqi nationalist. Should the Trump administration and a government loyal to Mr. More recently he has led campaigns against corruption and foreign influence. Mr Sadr, who cannot become prime minister because he did not run himself, is in a strong position to be kingmaker.

Iraq: Shiite Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr's Religious Centers Attacked After Election Win

Unknown gunmen reportedly attacked two military and religious bases belonging to Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadrist Movement on Wednesday in Maysan province in southeastern Iraq, on the Iran-Iraq border, following the Shiite cleric's preliminary parliamentary victory.

The United States and Saudi Arabia would prefer a coalition including Sadr and Abadi that could ensure Abadi a second term as prime minister. Partial results for the May 12 poll show the Marching Towards Reform alliance of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and communists ahead in six of Iraq's 18 provinces and second in four others. Al-Sadr reportedly released a statement confirming the attack on Wednesday and called the attackers a “group of cowards,” but was cautious not to blame any party in particular.

Sadr align, it would not be the first time American troops have had to develop a working relationship with Iraqis who were once considered the enemy. His supporters ransacked government offices in 2016. Although his most ardent supporters are Shias in the shantytowns of Baghdad and Basra, he won by broadening his appeal. But Mr Maliki has influence over Mr Abadi, another Dawa stalwart. Only 44% voted, down from 62% in 2014.

For al-Sadr, it’s a striking about-face from 2003, when he led a bloody uprising against American and coalition forces in Iraq. On Wednesday, the head of Iraq’s electoral commission said election workers were being held hostage by gunmen at an election center and have been unable to send results from 186 ballot boxes. Before joining The Post in 2017, he covered the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal, focusing on North Africa and Iraq.