BAGHDAD, (AP) – Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on Arab leaders meeting in Syria to voice their support for Iraq’s “resistance” to what he calls foreign occupation.
Al-Jazeera television has shown a brief clip of an interview with the Mahdi Army militia leader. It says the full interview will be shown later Saturday.
The broadcast is the first word from the reclusive cleric since the Iraqi government launched a crackdown against militia violence in the southern oil port of Basra earlier this week.
Al-Sadr is believed to be in Iran, but Al-Jazeera doesn’t say where or when the interview took place. The portly al-Sadr, who is in his mid-30s, appears to have lost a great deal of weight in the clip.