Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Intense fighting between the Sadrist and Iraqi Central Government

That's about all I know. I missed any mention of this earlier but from what I heard on the radio it appears that the Iraqi Government attempted / is attempting to push Sadrists out of Basra and regain control of that city. This apparently caused an uprising in a number of other places.

I will post more when I know more. Off to a meeting for now.

Update From the New York Times

BAGHDAD — A day after launching a huge operation that ignited heavy fighting in two of Iraq’s largest cities, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki gave the Shiite militias controlling the southern oil city of Basra an ultimatum on Wednesday: lay down their weapons within 72 hours or face more severe consequences.

Hopefully more severe than the last seventy-eleven times that operations have started against the Mehdi Army and Maliki just called a halt to them.

It appears the Americans are trying to distance themselves, whether that is because the command doesn't think this is such a hot idea or because they want to show what the Iraqi army is capable of I don't know.

As the fighting in Basra and Baghdad intensified on Wednesday, the American military command, speaking for the first time about the crackdown, characterized it as an Iraqi-led operation in which American-led forces were playing only an advisory role. An Iraqi hospital official said that the battle in Basra between Iraqi forces and Shiite militias led by Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric, had so far claimed the lives of 40 people and wounded at least 200, figures that include militia members as well as Iraqi officers.
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