Muqtada al-Sadr, perhaps the second most influential Shiite leader in Iraq after Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, on Thursday urged Shiite militia forces to be “patient” and stand down because the “crisis is over” between the U.S. and Iran.
“I call on the Iraqi factions to be deliberate, patient, and not to start military actions, and to shut down the extremist voices of some rogue elements until all political, parliamentary and international methods have been exhausted,” he said.
Sadr, who put his own militia band back together again after the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani, promoted a five-step plan for stabilizing Iraq after both Washington and Tehran issued de-escalation statements on Wednesday.
Step one of the plan called for forming a new Iraqi government within the next 15 days. Baghdad has technically been without one since Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned in November, although Mahdi and most of