2004-08-19

Morning Report: August 19, 2004

Iraq to Sadr: Surrender or else. Muqtada al-Sadr has reportedly rejected an Iraqi government demand for immediate surrender and will likely face a military assault within hours. A recent Debka bulletin states that 'government accuses besieged Shiite cleric Sadr of cheating when he offered to accept ceasefire terms and leave mosque with his militia. Instead, all 2,000 militiamen are barricaded inside and shooting from there at US-Iraqi siege force. ... Wednesday, US-Iraqi forces transferred to Najef Kurdish Special Forces 36th commando battalion, of mostly Shiite fighters, to spearhead Iraqi military drive into Imam Ali Mosque.'