McClatchy provides a lot of important detail about Sunday’s surprising developments regarding the fight between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army. A parliamentary delegation from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s own coalition (mainly now the Da`wa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) defied him by going off to the holy seminary city of […]
Archives for March 2008
Iraqi Police surrendering to the Mahdi Army in Baghdad. Courtesy AFP via al-Hayat. Ned Parker of the LAT does a good job in clarifying the rivalry between the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (with its Badr Corps paramilitary) and the Sadr Movement (with its Mahdi Army paramilitary). The Iraqi government is supporting, and supported by, […]
Mahdi Army Militiamen, courtesy Al-Zaman of Baghdad. Another US soldier was killed in Baghdad on Friday. The Times of Baghdad reports in Arabic that clashes continued on Friday between Iraqi government forces and the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and the provinces of the middle Euphrates and the south, causing hundreds of casualties, including among women, […]
People are asking me the significance of the fighting going on in Basra and elsewhere. My reading is that the US faced a dilemma in Iraq. It needed to have new provincial elections in an attempt to mollify the Sunni Arabs, especially in Sunni-majority provinces like Diyala, which has nevertheless been ruled by the Shiite […]
There was heavy fighting Wednesday and Thursday morning in the Jumhuriya district of the southern oil port of Basra. That is a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, now under assault by the Iraqi military, with rocket propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire raining down on the civilian neighborhood. Al-Zaman reports […]
I’ll be on the Lehrer News Hour, PBS, Wednesday evening March 26.
The truce between the Mahdi Army and the US military has broken down, putting a question mark over the future of the ‘surge’. Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that members of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI, formerly SCIRI, led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim); the Da’wa Party led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki; and the […]
Don’t miss part II of Frontline’s (PBS) special on the Iraq War tonight. Part I, aired last night, is or will be available in streaming video, as will the whole thing.
On Tuesday morning, major clashes broke out between government security forces and local Basra militias (including the Mahdi Army) that sent black smoke billowing in the air above the oil port. A strict curfew was imposed and schools were closed. Reuters reports: ‘ “Basra is half empty. There are no vehicles and no one is […]