Basra Breaking?

A few days ago we get this:

U.S. Wants British ‘Surge’ In S. Iraq: Paper

And why, because:

It quoted an unnamed senior U.S .military source saying: “Three big militias are currently engaged in a particularly bloody battle in southern Iraq.

And the U.S.

“If they do not have enough troops, then they will be offered U.S .Marines to help out.

“The feeling is that if southern Iraq is hugely unstable, it will affect the success of the surge in the north and destabilize the whole country.”

Today we get this:

Heavy fighting in southern Iraqi oil hub

Heavy fighting erupted on Tuesday in the southern oil city of Basra where Iraqi security forces launched a major operation at dawn against powerful militias, military officials and witnesses said.

“There are clashes in the streets. Bullets are coming from everywhere and we can hear the sound of rocket explosions. This has been going on since dawn,” resident Jamil told Reuters by telephone as he cowered in his home.

Who was it that said Iraq is Stable?

Two powerful factions of Iraq’s Shi’ite majority, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and the Mehdi Army militia of Moqtada al-Sadr, are fighting for power in Basra along with a smaller Shi’ite party, Fadhila.

Basra is Iraq’s second city and gateway to the Gulf. Its oil fields are the source of most government revenues.

Will these unstable questionable alliances be starting to break down?

And can the Iraq Governments?? forces gain control or stalemate or join the fighting factions?

Holloway said Iraqi troops had been sent from across Iraq to reinforce the 14th Iraqi Army division in Basra.

Where will this leave the rest of the country?


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  1. I heard this on BBC world service earlier this morning. There’s a story up on the BBC News website too, Fierce clashes break out in Basra, but it covers the same news that you’ve found.

    Two big ifs with Iraq. 1) Will the U.S. media cover the story or will they keep saying “violence is down”, long live the “surge”? 2) Will the hold McCain accountable for his big Iraq gamble?

    • jimstaro on March 26, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Roads to Iraq

    Just reported from Alwasatonline reporter in Basra, Mahdi Army managed to arrest 17 American soldiers, and seizes 7 hammer military vehicles, because of these developments the Iraqi government offered to negotiates with MA but Muqtada Al-Sadr refused any negotiations, also 250 Iraqi soldiers gave themselves up to Mahdi Army.

    Key bridge, connecting Basra city to Al-Kurnah is destroyed by Mahdi Army.

    Sotaliraq reported that Maliki refused to meet Basra’s mayor “Mohammad Al-Walili [from Al-Fadhilah Party], the mayor threaten if he removed from his position as mayor he will burn all the oil wells around Basra.

    There is also reports about American warplanes involvement in the fights, and the Green Zone was bombed again at 8 O’clock p.

    There are fighting in Al-Shurta neighborhood in Baghdad in the Karkh part [East, across the river]

    Information Clearing House

    just sent it out.

    • OPOL on March 26, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Surely the corporate media wouldn’t lie to us.  Surely not.

    • ANKOSS on March 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Notice how little coverage there is of this latest round of trouble. Iraq is now so dangerous that ordinary journalism has become almost impossible. In a few days Sadr could be crushed or Maliki’s government might fall. America is clueless and helpless as events spin out of our control.

    • RUKind on March 27, 2008 at 5:47 am

    That’s what is driving this. The five majors are close to a deal with Maliki’s government on the Basra oil fields. That’s been reported but not highlighted by any MSM. Also reported at a low-level is the general criminal gang aspect of the militias. The Mahdi crowd or sub-family controls the Basra docks.

    In order to seal the deal the Maliki government will have to have control over Basra shipping. That’s fairly obvious. I’m sure Sadr could be brought in on the deal and probably will be to ensure it goes down. The problem is the gangs have no real discipline.

    Once the shipping problem gets solved and the deal gets signed then Cheney’s claim of outstanding success becomes a fact. From his point of view. From an oilman’s point of view.

    The key to understanding these guys is to be able to put any conscience aside and look at is as a pure business deal. Human life is a renewable resource. Oil isn’t. It’s so simple and straightforward when seen from the right perspective.

    These people are not fully human. They’re more like Jonathan Swift’s yahoos in Gulliver’s Travels. Human beings have a soul. These are soul-less bipedal humanoid mammals.

  2. What’s happening is this…

    Sadr is a nationalist…not really allied with Iran….The Americans don’t like him, the Badr Shiites allied with Iran don’t like him, the Sunnis don’t like him and the Government of Iraq’s militias don’t like him.

    I like him…..

    He’s the only sincere player.

    And of course the Stupid Americans have allied with the Iranians against Sadr….even though Sadr represents American interests as he is not allied with Iran….and the Stupid Americans have allied with the Badr group who are using the Americans and have used them to get rid of the Sunnis…and the Badr group is allied with Iran…while the Sunnis who are being armed (after being fought against by the Americans)  to fight the Badr group,  Moqtada Al Sadr and and all other Shiite militas….

    Do you see how screwed up this is?….No one understands what’s going on over there…it’s not that hard to understand….but if you don’t understand you just screw things up worse.

    That’s why it’s better to withdraw immediately. When you don’t know what your doing and are incompetent…you have to admit that to yourself and STOP DOING WHATEVER YOUR DOING!

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