Sadr's rally against the US presence in Iraq .... (BBC)
... Was followed by a crackdown on the protest sites in Baghdad and Basra
Moqtada al-Sadr held his anti-U.S. protest in Baghdad’s Jadriya neighborhood on January 24. People protested against western forces being in the country and demanded that they leave. Sadr didn’t attend but issued a message to the crowd. He announced plans for this march on January 14. This was a day after he met with several leaders of pro-Tehran Hashd groups in Qom, Iran where he is currently living. Several of those groups participated in the march. Later in the day, the Iraqi forces attacked the sit-in sites in Basra and Baghdad. That pointed to an agreement between Sadr and the pro-Iran camp. Sadrists have been involved in the anti-government demonstrations since they began and provided unofficial security. They new round of attacks pointed to Sadr withdrawing this support and allowing Iran’s allies to make another attempt at breaking up the activists.