النجف « ƆAL-NAĜAF »
— English: Najaf.
— Seat of government: النجف « ɔal-Naĝaf ».
— Status: Not democratic.
— Governing party: Clerical factions of the حوزة « Haŭzaḧ ».
— Head of government: على سيستانى « Calī Sīstānī ».
— Assessment: Theocratic enclave allowed effective autonomy by the شيعى « Šīcī »-dominated government of العراق « ɔal-Cirāq ». سيستانى Sīstānī is the senior آيت الله « ɔājatɔullah ». After the 2003 US invasion, مقتدى الصدر « Muqtadaj ɔal-Sadr » and his جيش المهدى « Ĝajš ɔal-Mahdī » took control of parts of the city for a time, including the important مسجد الإمام علي « Masĝid ɔal-Ɔimām Calī ». In 2004, a deal was negotiated to turn control over to the local police and establishment (rather than the US), but was not clearly implemented, and later that year, after another standoff at the مسجد « masĝid », سيستانى « Sīstānī » negotiated his own resumption of control and the withdrawal of forces on both sides.
— Updated: 2014 November 24.
 

O.T. FORD