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British troops called into Basra as Shia battles rage on
Times (UK) ^ | March 31, 2008 | James Hider in Baghdad and Michael Evans, Defence Editor

Posted on 03/30/2008 4:47:08 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Hopes for a ceasefire in Iraq’s 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 cleric’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: basra; iraq; sadr; uktroops; youbreakityouownit
Sadr thought he could get Maliki to back off.....

Times seems to want it portrayed otherwise...

1 posted on 03/30/2008 4:47:09 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: NormsRevenge; elhombrelibre; Allegra; SandRat; tobyhill; G8 Diplomat; Dog; Cap Huff; ...

News ping.


2 posted on 03/30/2008 4:47:53 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Sadre just wants to be paid off for a temporary ceasefire that makes him look relevant. The Brits ate making the right call there.
3 posted on 03/30/2008 4:52:19 PM PDT by cake_crumb (Boycott Genocide. Boycott the Olympics.)
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To: cake_crumb

The Brits ARE making the right call there. It’s time to drop the mouse and step...away...from the...computer.


4 posted on 03/30/2008 4:53:45 PM PDT by cake_crumb (Boycott Genocide. Boycott the Olympics.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Good news. Malaki is showing some spine.
5 posted on 03/30/2008 4:54:12 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

I wish our leaders would do the same....


6 posted on 03/30/2008 4:56:18 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat (I see dead people....they're everywhere....THEY'RE VOTING!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Times seems to want it portrayed otherwise...

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.

7 posted on 03/30/2008 4:56:49 PM PDT by A message
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

wtf is a “Hojatoleslam?”


8 posted on 03/30/2008 4:57:19 PM PDT by robomatik ((wine plug: renascentvineyards.com cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and merlot))
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To: robomatik
Hojatoleslam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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. ...

9 posted on 03/30/2008 5:01:02 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: All
Don't know what is in this from the Christian Science Monitor:

Sadr reins in Shiite militiamen, sends mixed signals

10 posted on 03/30/2008 5:03:02 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Iraq’s developing Shia civil war...

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.

11 posted on 03/30/2008 5:04:50 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (a fair dinkum aussie)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
From the article linked just above:

*****************************EXCERPT******************

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.

12 posted on 03/30/2008 5:05:22 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Fred Nerks

Let’s hope so!


13 posted on 03/30/2008 5:05:57 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

British troops stationed at Basra airport were deployed outside their base for the first time yesterday


14 posted on 03/30/2008 5:06:25 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Fred Nerks
More from the article linked at #10:

******************************EXCERPT*****************************

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.

15 posted on 03/30/2008 5:09:14 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Good afternoon.
“defeated just the way they were defeated in Vietnam”

So Mookie knows all about the DemocRATs in our Congress. And here I thought he was just another ignorant 7th century throwback thug

Michael Frazier

16 posted on 03/30/2008 5:12:40 PM PDT by brazzaville (No surrender, no retreat. Well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Article is BS referring to a "developing Shia civil war". So you don't have a civil war but one is "developing" and it isn't a civil war between two of the largest groups like Sunni/Shia, it is a fight with a sub element of Shia.

In other words, NOT a civil war.

17 posted on 03/30/2008 5:17:50 PM PDT by Williams
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To: Williams

18 posted on 03/30/2008 5:20:16 PM PDT by yield 2 the right
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To: Williams

They just want to get the readers attention....


19 posted on 03/30/2008 5:22:13 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: cake_crumb
No offense to our British coalition partners, BUT they were, to a large part, responsible for what Basra has become.

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.

20 posted on 03/30/2008 5:22:14 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
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.

I don't know how old this video is, but the 'mahdi army' can't be winning too many friends in Iraq with actions like this: (if it's 'civil war' then it's shia-on-shia!)

YOUTUBE LINK.

21 posted on 03/30/2008 6:48:09 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (a fair dinkum aussie)
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To: Fred Nerks

What in the hell is a Hojatoleslam .....?


22 posted on 03/30/2008 7:02:09 PM PDT by Hamilcar_Barca
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To: Hamilcar_Barca
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. It was originally applied only to leading mujtahids, but from about the start of the 19th century came to be used by all clerics following the creation of the title ayatollah for top Shia mujtahids. The title Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin (authority on Islam and Muslims) is given to middle-ranking clerics.
23 posted on 03/30/2008 7:07:57 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (a fair dinkum aussie)
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To: 2111USMC; Ernest_at_the_Beach
I agree and will back your statements in post #20.
As much as I had praised some of the earlier moves the Brits did perform when it came to action, and their Black Watch Brigade when moved up north to FOB (FOB Mahmudyia), did perform very well in the Triangle of Death Area for a time.
But I cannot make any excuses for their over all peformance. They had plenty of time to better establish a strong SASO in that southern province.
24 posted on 03/30/2008 7:31:25 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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To: A message; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; Allegra
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.

Steady on, young fella'

Don't get stuck on the MSM, read these blogs:

EuReferendum: Maybe things aint what they seem

and

Talismangate: Second hand propaganda

Looks like al-Sadr's troops are receiving a pasting. Hopefully, Allegra can fill us in as soon as she feels it is appropriate.

25 posted on 03/30/2008 7:34:40 PM PDT by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
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.

Analysts and critics --yeah right --NYT and WP editorial people
26 posted on 03/30/2008 7:46:34 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Fred Nerks; Ernest_at_the_Beach
Let us hope so Fred. This frigen jerk has gotten away with murder charges. And all the trouble he has created since day one and allowed to enter the political arena and screw up so much during the Maliki term. I still wonder why plans where not made for him to be taken out.
Paul Bremmer screwed the pouch as far as I am concerned regarding letting Mookie off the hook way back when.
Now. What is in the mind of Hakim. Can he be trusted to adhere to a one Iraq principle where all Iraqi can have a say in their central and provincial governments. How strong are his ties to Iran. Are they more ground in simple religious adherence within the close ties he has had with Iranian Shia or does he really want to see a divided Iraq where the Shia role the country and dominate the southern sector where half of the countries current oil is extracted then shipped out.
I'm just speaking out loud with no intention of finding the absolute answers at this point.
As many I have viewed various profiles of all the key players in Iraq. But their profiles do not always show their true color(s).
I tend to try to place these guys into roughly similar positions as we may find in either of our countries from a political party standpoint. Perhaps that is unwise.
One thing is for certain. Both Sistani and Hakim have been very quiet in recent days. On the record, we have read from various sources both have been committed to allowing a democratic (secular by inference) government to take control of Iraq.
Iraq has a constitution that to some degree is penned to protect all it's citizens regardless of religious affiliation.
But how much of their constitution was agreed upon a majority of those involved, and how does it play with the masses.
Maliki should be on the pulpit declaring that the Sadr Army has fully overstretched any form of recognized authority it may have been perceived as permitted to indulged in.
As you are well aware, it was a terrible mistake to allow for any militia to exist within the framework of their new constitution.
I do hope there are strong forces behind the scenes from a number of the Coalition nation's foreign affairs to convince the Iraqi that they must supply an amendment to their constitution that would disband all militias.
Until this is done, the problems will exist. If it calls for a lot of bloody battles to take place. Then so be it. With their new military, national police, and most likely improving provincial level security forces taking hold and showing many positive signs, there is no reason for legality for local militias to be allowed to exist.
At any rate. My day off. I still had to go to a store meeting for two hours this late evening. I have to get up at 3:30AM my time to be in at 5AM. So I have to sign off. Do have a great day.
27 posted on 03/30/2008 7:57:41 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks...been out most of the day, just catching up..


28 posted on 03/30/2008 8:35:41 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: ScaniaBoy

The bloggers are the only ones making sense...I watched the mahdi ‘militia’ doing their little bravado dance on the TV ‘news’ and never saw any more than three or four at any one time. I did ask myself however, who was it that was able to get close enough to take the film?

We’ve been fed the same garbage all along. Might as well be watching al Jazeera TV.


29 posted on 03/30/2008 8:46:07 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (a fair dinkum aussie)
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To: Williams
In other words, NOT a civil war.

You're right. And there never WAS a civil war here...even when the media insisted such in 2005 and 2006.

30 posted on 03/31/2008 1:40:30 AM PDT by Allegra (Tehran delenda est)
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To: Williams

Sounds like an uncivil war to me...


31 posted on 03/31/2008 7:16:41 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Didn’t the Brits just pull out of there?


32 posted on 03/31/2008 10:07:31 AM PDT by JPJones (Cry havoc and loose the Freepers!)
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To: ScaniaBoy; uncbob; Williams; Vanders9; JPJones
Now this morning we have this:

Iranian general played key role in brokering Iraq cease-fire

33 posted on 03/31/2008 10:21:43 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: JPJones

See #20.


34 posted on 03/31/2008 10:23:25 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: 2111USMC

Sigh. When the US leaves other cities it has occupied for some years and the insurgents use their moles inside the Iraqi forces to wreck havoc, permission to roll my eyes sagely...

We could have fought the militias. We did fight the militias. It was developing into a British vs Iraqi contest, which doesn’t give the locals much to cheers for. They cant very well look to be supporting the Brits, cos we aint Arab or Muslim. So, in accordance with a long thought up plan of overwatch, we made a redeployment to the international airbase a mile or so outside of Basra. This overwatch capacity was utilised by the Iraqi Army during the recent battles in Basra, including air and artillery support from our squadrons and batteries, called in by UK Special Forces operating inside the city. Armoured columns set up check points at key points around the city to prevent reinforcement to the enemy.

FYI: We wouldnt have the problem of militia infiltration into the Iraqi Army if it hadn’t been disbanded after the invasion 5 years ago.


35 posted on 03/31/2008 11:10:54 AM PDT by Rikstir
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To: Rikstir
When the US leaves other cities it has occupied for some years and the insurgents use their moles inside the Iraqi forces to wreck havoc, permission to roll my eyes sagely...

Permission Granted. :)

We wouldnt have the problem of militia infiltration into the Iraqi Army if it hadn’t been disbanded after the invasion 5 years ago.

I certainly won't argue that.

36 posted on 03/31/2008 5:16:02 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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