Skip to comments.British troops called into Basra as Shia battles rage on
Posted on 03/30/2008 4:47:08 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Hopes for a ceasefire in Iraqs developing Shia civil war were swiftly undermined last night when the Government said that it would not stop attacking outlaw militia members despite an offer from militia leaders to freeze the conflict.
Fierce fighting went on in areas of Basra loyal to Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, despite the rebel clerics call to his militiamen to put down their weapons. In Baghdad mortars continued to slam into the green zone government compound.
British troops stationed at Basra airport were deployed outside their base for the first time yesterday, backing up Iraqi forces on the edge of the city. The grand plan to start reducing the British presence in southern Iraq to 2,500 from the spring will be put on hold formally tomorrow when the Government announces a pause in troop cuts.
Final advice has yet to be given to ministers, but Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is expected to tell the Commons that it is prudent to freeze the drawdown plans until the security conditions in Basra become clearer. Senior military officials are expected to advise that a full brigade of about 4,100 British troops was still needed, even though the bulk of the Service personnel is located well away from Basra city at the airport.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Times seems to want it portrayed otherwise...
The Brits ARE making the right call there. It’s time to drop the mouse and step...away...from the...computer.
I wish our leaders would do the same....
It's a civil war man. A CIVIL WAR !!!
All H is breaking loose. The surge is failing, failing. Retreat. RETREAT
Seems the MSM is going all out to side with the terrorists.
wtf is a “Hojatoleslam?”
Hojatoleslam (from Arabic حجة الإسلام hujjat-ul-islām) is an honorific title meaning "authority on Islam" or "proof of Islam", given to all Shia clerics. ...
Iran's puppet Sadr is about to get a lot of shia thugs into mohammad's paradise to reap their reward of 72 white raisins.
While the announcement was welcomed by the Iraqi government as helping its effort to "impose security" in Basra, the southern oil city, it appeared to conflict with other comments by Mr. Sadr, who told Al Jazeera Saturday that the US would be "defeated just the way they were defeated in Vietnam" and that his militiamen were on the path of "liberation."
It was too early to tell whether the statement, read in the holy city of Najaf, would end fighting in the south or in the capital. But contrary to initial reports, the US and Iraqi government campaign against the Mahdi Army, say officials and analysts, is a carefully coordinated effort by the US and Sadr's Shiite rivals to deal a decisive blow to the outspoken cleric.
Let’s hope so!
British troops stationed at Basra airport were deployed outside their base for the first time yesterday
It's the latest episode in a strategy that has been under way for some time now to draw out the militia's hard-core elements, thus dividing it into "good" and "bad," according to the deputy chief of staff of Iraq's armed forces, a secular Shiite who has strong ties to US military commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus.
"There is the good, bad, and ugly, but the heads are linked. Now we are rooting out the bad guys," says Gen. Naseer al-Abadi.
The US has long accused so-called "special groups" within the Mahdi Army of having ties to Iran, being behind the more spectacular roadside bombings in Iraq, and more recently for firing rockets and mortars into the fortified Green Zone, the area of Baghdad that houses the US Embassy and Iraqi government offices.
But analysts say that the strategy of drawing out these "rogue elements" within the Mahdi Army in Basra quickly spread to other southern cities and gave rise to fighting in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold, Sadr City.
If the battle does continue, critics warn, it risks driving Baghdad and the whole southern half of the country into a precipice and perhaps leading to a civil war between Shiite factions.
"The US was involved in the initial decision to move against the Mahdi Army.
The Americans are going to help crush the Sadrists by siding with Hakim and Dawa," says Mustafa al-Ani, a Dubai-based analyst with the Gulf Research Center, referring to Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the force behind the ruling Shiite political bloc which includes Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party.
So Mookie knows all about the DemocRATs in our Congress. And here I thought he was just another ignorant 7th century throwback thug
In other words, NOT a civil war.
They just want to get the readers attention....
They were in the city at one time, and determined that they couldn't fight the militia so they retreated to the airport and set up base.
Once they left the city, the criminals, Iranians, Sadr followers, etc. swarmed the place making the situation even worse.
I remember reading their reports about it right here on FR. I don't understand why they weren't reinforced and this city cleaned out a year or so ago.