Iraq backs intervention in Libya; Sadr condemns

BAGHDAD - Iraq said on Monday it supported international intervention in Libya, but influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr condemned it and said Western states should avoid civilian casualties.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 21 Mar 2011, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:25 AM

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq supported the UN Security Council resolution that authorised the intervention, and would back any action as long as it was authorised by the United Nations.

“The Iraqi government supports the international efforts to prevent any acts of violence made by the Gaddafi regime against its people.”

A website that publishes the views of Sadr said the cleric had condemned the Western intervention in Libya along with the arrival of troops from Gulf countries in Bahrain to help put down protests by mainly-Shia demonstrators there.

“His eminence (Sadr) rejected and condemned the foreign interference in Libyan and Bahraini internal affairs saying that the people are the ones who own decisions and governments should step down if the people call for it,” the website of the media department of Sadr’s movement said.

“Those who want to topple (Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi’s regime with their planes should avoid killing civilians and avoid the calamities of bombings.”

Sadr, who long led violent opposition among Shias to the US presence in Iraq, has since become a key part of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s ruling coalition.

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