I’m doing my best to stay informed on the violence in Basra, and the rest of Iraq. Here’s some random links:
Slate: Warlord vs. Warlord
The fighting this week in Basra may be a prelude to the moratorium’s collapse and, with it, the resumption of wide-scale sectarian violenceâ€”Shiite vs. Sunni and Shiite vs. Shiite.
Many Shiites believeâ€”not unreasonablyâ€”that Maliki ordered the offensive in Basra now in order to destroy Sadr’s base of support and thus keep his party from beating ISCI in the upcoming provincial elections.
Violence also broke out in Kut, Hilla, Amara, Kirkuk, Baquba and other cities. In Baghdad, where explosions shook the city throughout the day on Thursday, American officials said 11 rockets struck the Green Zone, killing an unidentified American government worker, the second this week.
Yahoo! News: US airstrike kills at least 4 in Baghdad
“He imprisoned and displaced thousands of Iraqi people under the name of democracy. He is killing the citizens in the south of Iraq,” Sheik Jalil al-Sarghi said, referring to al-Maliki as U.S. helicopters buzzed over the office where the prayer service was held.
The prime minister put his credibility on the line by flying down to Basra on Monday and issuing a weekend deadline for the surrender of Mahdi Army militiamen loyal to al-Sadr.