Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Israel destroyed a rocket factory outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel destroyed a rocket factory of the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip


(File image) Remnants of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel (REUTERS / Amir Cohen)

As fireworks lit up the skies celebrating New Years, a different kind of fire came from Gaza: terrorist rockets being fired at Israel. In response, we targeted Hamas sites in Gaza, including a rocket manufacturing site and military posts, ”reported the Israel Defense Force.

Thus, the army confirmed having bombed Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip between Saturday night and Sunday, in retaliation for the launch of rockets from the Palestinian enclave.

“Israeli warplanes attacked a site of the Al Qasam brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) west of Jan Yunes,” a city in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian security sources told AFP. They indicated that artillery shots were also fired at an observation base of the Islamist movement in the north of the enclave.

The Israeli operation destroyed a rocket manufacturing facility and other military sites, targeting the Khan Younis area., in the south of the enclave.

The exchange follows several days of tensions that began when snipers inside Gaza fired at Israeli contractors who were carrying out maintenance work on the 65-kilometer border fence surrounding the enclave. A civilian worker was treated for minor injuries from that attack. Israeli tanks fired at Hamas positions in response, slightly injuring three people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In the early hours of New Year’s morning, two rockets were fired from Gaza, flying over the Mediterranean Sea, causing no damage or warnings of an air attack on Israeli communities, although one of the projectiles fell not far from the coast of Tel Aviv. .

“Hamas is responsible and bears the consequences of all activity in and emanating from the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement after the attacks.

(File Image) Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel in May 2021 (REUTERS / Amir Cohen // File Photo)

The rise in tensions comes as Israel and Hamas are negotiating, with Egypt’s mediation, a lasting peace agreement. But the talks have been bogged down by issues such as the return of prisoners and human remains that are in the hands of Hamas, among others.

Military analysts claimed that the sniper attack and rocket fire may be attempts by Hamas or other Gaza militants to pressure Israel to accelerate the pace of reconstruction and ease other restrictions in the enclave.

Gaza terrorists also warned they would intensify the attacks amid reports that a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel was in mortal danger after a prolonged hunger strike. Hisham Abu Hawash was detained more than a year ago on suspicion of being an Islamic Jihad activist, according to Israeli media. He has refused to receive food for almost 20 weeks.

What is at stake, according to analysts, is an unusually long period of relative calm along the Gaza border, where rocket exchanges and retaliatory attacks are a routine part of life for Gazans and Gazans alike. Israelis from surrounding cities.

However, since a ceasefire ended the war in May, almost no attacks have been launched by either side. Military and political leaders have boasted in recent weeks that they have reached a level of deterrence in Gaza, a claim challenged by recent exchanges.

With information from AFP and The Washington Post

Babylon the Great Prepares for Nuclear War with Iran: Revelation 16

US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan. FILE PHOTO

US Warns Iran Of Severe Consequences If Americans Attacked

Iran will face severe consequences if it attacks Americans, the White House said on Sunday, including former officials sanctioned by Tehran for the 2020 killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Iran’s sanctions on Saturdaycame as Tehran’s proxy militias continue to attack American troops in the Middle East.

“We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences.”

Top Iranian officials have repeatedly issued threats to take revenge for Soleimani’s killing. The Qods Force general was Iran’s top military and intelligence operator in the region, organizing and guiding militant proxies.

The US warning came as nuclear talks continue in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement, which would lift US sanctions and restrict Iran’s fast-developing nuclear program. Iran has refused to directly negotiate with the United States. Other participants in the talks act as mediators.

Iran on Saturday imposed sanctions on dozens more Americans, many of them from the US military, over the 2020 killing of Soleimani.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said 51 Americans had been targeted for what it called “terrorism” and human rights violations. The step lets Iranian authorities seize any assets they hold in Iran, but the apparent absence of such assets means it will likely be symbolic.

It was not clear why Sullivan’s statement referred to 52 people when Tehran said it had sanctioned 51.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on January 1 lashed out at former US president Donald Trump and others for Soleimani’s killing, saying they “will pay back for their crime.” Other Iranian officials have repeated similar threats in the past week as Tehran marked the second anniversary of Soleimani’s death.

Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria accelerated drone and rocker attacks on US forces in the first week of January.

Iran’s sanctions include former president Donald Trump, former CIA directors Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel, former UN envoy John Bolton, former defense secretaries Mark Esper and Christopher C. Miller. The list also included US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

Soleimani, was killed in Iraq in a drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020, ordered by then President Donald Trump, who said he had to eliminate a “terrorist leader” who posed an immediate danger to Americans.

With reporting by Reuters

Who are the Nuclear Horns of Prophecy? Daniel

Which countries have nuclear weapons?

Total global tally of nukes has dropped from 70,000 to around 14,000 in past 55 years

The five permanent member states of the UN Security Council have pledged to work together to achieve “a world without nuclear weapons”. 

In what The Guardian described as a “rare joint pledge to reduce the risk of such a conflict ever starting”, China, Russia, Britain, the US and France agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. The statement of agreement echoed a commitment made by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at a 1985 summit and was signed earlier this month “ahead of a review of a key nuclear treaty later this year”, said Al Jazeera.

“We also affirm that nuclear weapons – for as long as they continue to exist – should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war,” said the five nations.

‘Moment of truth’

The joint statement “comes as tensions between the world powers have risen to heights rarely seen in recent decades”, said CNN.

The “massing” of Russian troops on its border with Ukrainian has triggered “alarms in Washington, London and Paris”. And increased Chinese military activity around Taiwan “has spiked tensions between Beijing and Washington and its Pacific allies”, the broadcaster added.

Joe Biden is also facing a “moment of truth” over Iran’s nuclear programme, wrote Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies policy institute, and former Pentagon adviser Matthew Kroenig, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “A nuclear-armed Iran would cause further proliferation as regional powers like Saudi Arabia build their own bombs.”

Amid that looming threat, “mistrust between Tehran and Washington is deeper than ever”, said the Financial Times –  the “legacy” of Donald Trump’s decision to “unilaterally abandon” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, during his tenure in the White House. 

Nuclear possessor states

“At the dawn of the nuclear age, the US hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon,” according to the Arms Control Association(ACA). “But the secrets and the technology for building the atomic bomb soon spread.”

Advertisement – Article continues below

A total of at least 31 countries have “flirted with nuclear weapons at one time or another”, said The Economist

Nine nations are currently known to have nuclear arms.

Latest data from the Arms Control Association suggests that more than 90% of the world’s total nuclear warheads belong to Russia and the US. Putin is believed to be sitting on “the world’s biggest stockpile of nuclear warheads”, with an estimated total of 6,257, “followed closely” by the US, at 5,500, said CNN. 

China, France and the UK “round out the top five”, the broadcaster continued, with 350, 290 and 225 respectively. 

The UN Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which came into force in 1970, classifies these five countries as nuclear weapon states (NWS). The treaty committed the UN’s 191 member states to preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons, with a goal of achieving total disarmament.

The total number of nuclear weapons in the world has decreased from 70,000 in 1968 to around 14,000, according to the BBC

However, three states who did not sign the historic treaty are known to possess nuclear arsenals. The Arms Control Association estimates that Pakistan has 165 nuclear warheads and that India has 156, while Israel is thought to have 90.

North Korea is also believed to have between 40 and 50 warheads, “which it sees as insurance against a pre-emptive attack by the US”, wrote the BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner. The hermit state has conducted a series of nuclear tests since withdrawing from the NPT in 2003.

The country’s state media agency KCNA reported that a hypersonic missile had successfully been tested at the start of 2022, news that “will alarm its neighbours, notably Japan and South Korea”, Gardner continued. This type of weapon is “unpredictable” and “hard to intercept”, and “they also leave nations guessing whether they are carrying a conventional high explosive warhead or a nuclear one”.

Iran, Iraq and Libya have also breached the treaty’s terms by pursuing nuclear activities, “and Syria is suspected of having done the same”, said the Arms Control Association.

The Economist cautioned that while the nuclear ambitions of “geopolitical minnows” such as Libya and Syria may be quashed, “in the next decade the threat is likely to include economic and diplomatic heavyweights whose ambitions would be harder to restrain”. 

The Arms Control Assocation struck a more positive note, noting that “dire decades-old forecasts that the world would soon be home to dozens of nuclear-armed have not come to pass”.

The Iran Obama Nuclear deal ends

Iran rules out prospect of an interim nuclear agreement in Vienna

Iran rules out prospect of an interim nuclear agreement in Vienna

Foreign Ministry spokesman says Tehran wants ‘a lasting and credible agreement, and no agreement without these two components is on our agenda’

By TOI staff and AFPToday, 10:35 am

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday ruled out an interim agreement with world powers, as the sides continue their talks in Vienna aimed at returning to the 2015 nuclear accord.

A spokesman for the ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said Tehran is “looking for a lasting and credible agreement, and no agreement without these two components is on our agenda.”Advertisement

He added: “We all need to make sure that the return of the United States [to the deal is accompanied by verification and the receipt of guarantees, and that a lifting of sanctions must take place. These are not achieved by any temporary agreement.”

On Sunday Iran’s foreign minister said talks with world powers to revive the  nuclear accord were approaching a “good agreement” but reaching one soon depends on the other parties.

“The initiatives of the Iranian side and the negotiations that have taken place have put us on the right track,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

“We are close to a good agreement, but to reach this good agreement in the short term, it must be pursued by the other side,” state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.Advertisement

Negotiations to restore the nuclear deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June as Iran elected a new, ultra-conservative government.

The original deal offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. But then-president Donald Trump withdrew the US in 2018 and derailed the accord, prompting Tehran to begin rolling back on its commitments.

Amir-Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic was not looking to “drag out” negotiations.

It is “important for us to defend the rights and interests of our country,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is seen before meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, on October 6, 2021. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/AFP)

Unlike the other parties to the agreement — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China — the US has only been engaged in the talks indirectly.

Tehran earlier this week said it had detected a new “realism” on the part of the world powers ahead of further negotiations in Vienna.

Amir-Abdollahian appeared to echo those comments on Sunday, saying that “yesterday, France played the role of a bad cop, but today it is behaving reasonably.”Advertisement

“Yesterday, the American side had unacceptable demands, but today we believe that it has adapted to the realities” of the situation, he added. “At the end of the day, a good deal is an agreement that satisfies all parties.”

The parties to the 2015 agreement saw it as the best way to stop the Islamic Republic from building a nuclear bomb — a goal Tehran has always denied, but which the West believes it actively sought.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday that negotiations were progressing on a “rather positive path” but emphasized the urgency of bringing them to a speedy conclusion.

Drawings of victims outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Batniji drew a sketch dedicated to Yamen Abuhatab in which a woman is holding a photo of three children. (Supplied)
Batniji dedicated a sketch to Yamen Abuhatab in which a woman is holding a photo of three children (Supplied)

Drawing under bombs: Gaza artist sketches portraits of victims of Israeli attack

Rehaf al-Batniji turned to her sketchbook to find comfort as Israeli bombs rained down on Gaza 

When her neighbourhood was being bombed by Israeli warplanes in May last year, Rehaf al-Batniji, taking shelter in the basement of her home, was drawing portraits of the victims as she imagined them to be.

“I tried to imagine what each martyr would have been doing if his or her life was not snatched away from them,” the Gaza native told Middle East Eye. 

“If someone had a small tree they were taking care of, if they were sleeping or looking out the window, I imagined all that.”

With a sketchbook that she kept with her during and in the aftermath of Israel’s military campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip, Batniji drew 50 sketches of victims whose names and ages she had heard on the television.

The 31-year-old artist said she was “crying sketches,” as drawing was the only way to “escape [horrible] news” and keep her from collapsing.

“During the war, you lose your stability, your feelings, and your humanity. This is their goal with these continuous attacks, to make you lose yourself. Maybe that’s why I drew the sketches in black, which is something I did not plan for, they just came like that,” Batniji said.

“There was something that was crushing me inside, a voice that I could never get rid of. I turned that voice into lines, and in some cases I didn’t even know what I was drawing until I found out that I drew these faces.”

Imagined faces

As Israeli shelling intensified during the 11-day campaign, Batniji’s married siblings, her nieces and nephews all sought refuge in the family’s house. 

With everyone sheltering in one room in the basement, Batniji took occasional breaks from the chaos surrounding her by spending time in the small atelier in the home’s front yard.

She shared her first sketch on her Facebook page on the fourth day of the military operation. Titled The Night Scene, the illustration depicts her family during the attacks.

Batniji drew “the night scene” sketch to depict her family while the sheltering in one house. (Supplied)
Batniji drew “The Night Scene” to depict her family while they sheltered in one house (Supplied)

“I kept thinking about the scene when my nieces and nephews hid from the bombing in their mothers’ arms. It was my feelings that drew that sketch,” Batniji said.

“If you noticed, even the mother who is supposed to protect [the children] is scared and wants to escape, but there is a bird above all of them.”

Sketching was not only a tool for Batniji to find comfort amid the carnage. It also helped her deal with a feeling of helplessness. To her, the sketches were a way of “doing something for the victims” by keeping their names and stories alive.

Batniji said that none of the faces she drew belonged to people who were killed in the attacks, but they were how she “imagined their faces to be”.

As the Palestinian death toll kept rising, reaching 259 by the end of the military campaign, Batniji was no longer drawing portraits only of people whose names she had heard on the news. 

“This war was different because many of the martyrs we heard of were not distant, they were people we had met and knew, and they lived in the same area,” she said.

“Among those were Riham al-Kolak, who was a friend of a friend… and Dima Saad, who was killed with her foetus in her womb and her two children around her.

“Every time these stories, our stories, turn into just numbers [in the news], I feel helpless, I feel psychologically unstable. Drawing these sketches helped me during the war only, only in that time, to deal with this crisis.”

Craving calm

Batniji drew a sketch of Kolak, 33, who was killed by an Israeli air strike on her home in al-Wahda street in the middle of Gaza city. The air strike hit her home a few minutes after she posted a prayer for survival on Facebook.

“This was the sketch that most touched me, The Sleeping Ladywhich I dedicated to the soul of Riham al-Kolak. I dedicated most of the sketches to child victims, but this one was different,” Batniji said.

“When I drew this sketch, my mother was lying in front of me and telling me how horrible she felt for all the people who were gone. I just started drawing lines while she was talking. I don’t know how they ended up to be this sketch. I imagined Riham in the drawing because she was almost my age, and I felt that connection between us.

“We usually need comfort, we need to feel safe and secure, so I drew her sleeping safely.”

Batniji drew 50 sketches of victims whose names and ages she had heard on the television. (Supplied)
Batniji drew 50 sketches of victims, some of whose names she had heard on the television (Supplied)

In four of the sketches she posted on Facebook during the attacks, Batniji drew different types of plants with the characters as an indication of calm and peace.

In her sketch dedicated to Dima Assaliya, 10, she drew a girl standing beside a pot of plants and staring out a window overlooking a dark scene of the chaos outside.

“This was one of the first scenes that I drew while thinking about calm during the war. Generally, we struggle for the idea of calm and peace in their broad meaning, but during the war, we start negotiating for half-an-hour of calm, half-an-hour of hiding,” she said.

“While you try to hide, there is a very big window in front of you overlooking the smoke and noises of war. You try as much as you can to distance yourself from this scene and stay calm, and plants were one thing that I made sure to keep and take care of during the war to keep me calm.”

Assaliya was killed on 19 May by an Israeli air strike while walking home from her sister’s house after her mother had asked her to bring a small electric oven to bake home-made bread.  

Child victims

Of the 259 Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israel in May, 66 were children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry

Following the offensive, nine out of 10 children in the coastal enclave were found to be suffering from some form of conflict-related post-traumatic stress disorder.

Most of Batniji’s sketches illustrate the future of young victims as she imagined they would have been, because “they did not get the chance to make their own”. 

“People of our age had the chance to live part of their life and experience the meaning of it, but these children did not even know what life was.” 

Batniji drew a sketch dedicated to Yamen Abuhatab in which a woman is holding a photo of three children. (Supplied)
Batniji dedicated a sketch to Yamen Abuhatab in which a woman is holding a photo of three children (Supplied)

While drawing sketches, Batniji would sometimes burst into tears thinking of the futures that these children might have had. 

“Of the sketches I drew, one was for a child called Buthaina Ubaid. This girl was seven years old. What could we do for her? She was only seven, and her name just disappeared, her life was completely gone. What did the life she dreamed to live look like?

“I did not see Buthaina’s picture and did not know what she looked like, I only knew how she was killed, so I imagined her face and drew her with a candle.” 

Ubaid died from her wounds on 14 May, which marked the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, after she was hit in the head by shrapnel from an Israeli missile that targeted a place near her home in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip.

In another sketch she shared one day before the ceasefire went into effect, Batniji drew a woman holding a photo of three children. It was dedicated to the soul of Yamen Abu Hattab, a six-year-old who was killed on 15 May. 

‘These children did not even know what life was’

– Rehaf al-Batniji, Palestinian artist 

“The thing that broke my heart the most was the killing of entire families, like the al-Kolak, the Abu Hattab, and al-Yazji families,” she said. 

“Many mothers lost their children during the attack, and nothing is left of these children but their photos. For these mothers, their children turn into mere photos.”

Abu Hattab was killed in an air strike on his home in the al-Shati refugee camp west of Gaza. Ten people of the same family were killed in the same attack, including eight children and two women.

One day later, four-year-old Adam al-Kolak was killed with his parents and siblings in a series of air strikes that targeted his neighbourhood in al-Wahda Street, in the middle of Gaza city.

Batniji dedicated a sketch to Kolak, illustrating a woman hanging laundry.

“Here, Adam’s mother or grandmother is looking at his clothes that have just been washed so that he could wear them the next day,” she said.

“There was no next day.”

The Hypocrisy of the Antichrist

A mask-clad youth walks in front of a large poster of Iraq's populist Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Sadr City, Baghdad on July 15, 2021. File Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Sadr denounces militias, sectarian government ahead of first parliament meeting

yesterday at 09:53

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq’s influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday again denounced the prevalence of militias in the country and called for a united government ahead of the new parliament’s first session.

“Today, there is no place for sectarianism and no room for racism,” reads a statement from Sadr, whose political bloc won 73 seats, the largest number, in Iraq’s October parliamentary election. 

“There is no place for militias, for everyone will support the army, and police, and security forces,” the cleric, who himself founded the active militia Saraya al-Salam, added. 

Sadr’s statement comes a day ahead of the new parliament’s first sitting, where members will be sworn in, and parties are set to elect the parliamentary speaker and its deputies. 

Early elections were called in response to mass protests in the country beginning in October 2019, caused by widespread dissatisfaction with Iraq’s politicians and endemic corruption in the country. 

Sadr, winning the largest parliamentary bloc, has previously expressed opposition towards militias, and has called for having the state control arms. 

The Sadrist bloc has also begun efforts to establish a cabinet containing the election’s largest winners. A delegation from the Sadrist bloc met with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Tuesday, discussing the October 10 elections and the formation of a new government for Iraq.  

According to a long standing agreement, the three main positions in Iraq are divided among Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. Whereas, Kurds get the presidency, Shiites get the premiership, and Sunnis get the parliamentary speaker. 

According to Article 54 of the Iraqi constitution, when the election results are confirmed, it sets in motion a process for the winning parties to form a government. Within 15 days of the ratification of the results, the president calls on the parliament to meet, chaired by its eldest member, and elect a speaker and two deputies by an absolute majority during its first session according to Article 55. The parliament also elects a president from among candidates by a two-thirds majority.  

The president then tasks the largest bloc in the parliament with forming the government, naming a prime minister within 15 days of the election of the president. The prime minister-elect then has 30 days to name a cabinet.