Peter Harling, a Damascus-based analyst at the International Crisis Group thinktank, doubted Tuesday's operation would succeed in removing the Mehdi Army from Sadr City.
"They'll lie low but they could retake control of the city any time," he told Reuters. "The Sadrists feel weakened, feel threatened and this increases the potential for violence."
Sadr was acquiescing because he did not want an out-and-out confrontation, he said. "The cost to him would be huge."
And why would he not want an out-and-out confrontation, any guesses?