Amidst the high-level talks regarding Iraq’s Civil War, ordinary Iraqi citizens are issuing more urgent appeals on Iraqi message boards. On today’s Washington Post Post Global edition, blogger Zeyad translates Arabic-language appeals from desperate Baghdadi Sunnis regarding the impending Shi’ite revenge for the Sadr City slaughter last week. These messages convey absolute panic, and are truly heartbreaking. Read them and consider what the Iraqi Civil War really looks like from the front lines.
Here are some examples:
Ibn Al-Iraq – Jihad district: Salam Aleikum. I live in the Jihad district. A group from the Mahdi Army tagged Sunni residences and collected their weapons today. God is witness to what I say.
Mustafa – Ghazaliya: We have been under mortar fire for two days. It is 10:50 p.m. now and we can hear heavy gunfire and an attack against mosques in the area. May God save us all from the injustice of aggressors.
A Mujahid for Allah – Baghdad of Al-Rashid: In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.
They want it a war, so be it. We are up to it, God willing.
My brothers, heed these recommendations:
1- Prepare weapons and ammunition.
2- To avoid their mortar fire, do not gather in large numbers at one place in your areas.
3- Spread out in small groups, and assign a commander to each.
4- Always take cover behind a barrier (anything that can protect you from enemy fire).
5- If there is an attack against your area, try not to waste your fire (make maximum benefit from the ammunition you have available).
6- Assign duties to your brothers.
7- Maintain communication with other groups in your area so you can respond to any breach of the area by the attackers.
8- Have courage and patience when you face them. They are cowards and will be defeated.
Remember that your brothers, the Mujahideen, will be with you in your fight against the murderous criminals. May God save us and save Iraq.
The son of Anbar – Baghdad: Dear brothers, the Khadhraa and Jami’a districts are in need of ammunition. Please come to our aid.
Ali – Ghazaliya: Groups from the evil Mahdi Army are preparing to enter Ghazaliya from the direction of the Centre Street and near the Muhajireen mosque, but residents are in control of most of the streets, despite assistance from the National Guard [for the Mahdi Army] and their cover for the mortar attacks from the Security Street. A woman was injured there from their damn mortars.
Abu Al-Hassan Al-Samarra’I – Baghdad: To the Mujahideen brothers in all areas, attack them and let the initiative be yours so that you can relieve the pressure from other districts. Have no mercy for them. Be careful of their spies in your areas.
Anonymous – Jihad district: Urgent. Please intervene to save the Jihad district from another massacre. Interior Ministry commandoes have been transporting fighters and mercenaries from the militias with their buses to their headquarters in the district. They are estimated to be around 500 mercenaries, fully armed with medium and light weapons. And now some of them are taking attack positions in preparation for a new massacre in the district. The buses have not stopped arriving, even though terrified residents have called the police and governmental officials.
There is, of course, no way to know if these messages are mere rumors, or calls to arms by interested Sunni militants, or pleas for help from ordinary Sunnis. Either way, they reveal a city on the verge of total and complete meltdown.