Iraq: November 18, 2003


Iran has once more publicly said it would not meddle in Iraqi affairs. Most Iranians are simply glad that Saddam is gone. But a small, but powerful, group of Islamic conservatives in Iran are eager to meddle and the Iranian government cannot do much to stop them. The Iranian conservatives are encouraging some Iraqi Shia religious leaders to set up a religious government in Iraq. Most Iraqis are not interested in this, but the militant Iraqi Shia religious leaders are determined, and trying to organize armed militias. 

American combat units continue to mount intimidating and loud movements by armored units, and use artillery and smart bombs near centers of Sunni Arab resistance to the fall of Saddam's government. Targets that were earlier avoided because of the possibility of hitting nearby civilians, are not hit and anti-coalition militants are operating under more dangerous conditions.




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