Thursday, March 27, 2008

Government forces in Basra not fighting: Kuwaiti paper

The Kuwaiti newspaper AlQabas reports from Basra:
The problem facing the government in its battle for control of Basra, which it has said will be "decisive", is that a large number of people in the army and the police are not carrying out orders to fight. Instead they are planning to return home, given their lack of desire to get into this fight.

Several notables in the governate have told AlQabas that the government forces, having entered into what amounts to street-fighting for Basra neighborhoods, will lose this fight unless these local forces are reinforced by large additional forces from elsewhere, because their opponents in the Mahdi Army and other organizations have appropriate weapons in sufficient quantity, and have experience in urban fighting. The lack of fighting spirit on the government side is owing to a lot of causes, among them the existence of tribal links between the army and police on the one side, and the armed militias on the other.

Also, the provincial council and the governor have come to an almost unified position of opposition to this [central government] operation, because they feel that the Prime Minister infringed on their jurisdiction as an elected local council. [In particular] they think the Prime Minister's meeting with the heads of the army and the police in the governate, without involving them, was a derogation of their status and an infringement on their legal authority.

(Another h/t to RoadstoIraq.com for pointing this out)

4 Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

Interesting. I always thought that Sadr always represented one of the essential building blocks necessary for the reconstruction of an Iraqi state. The Occupiers' assault on the Mahdi Army seems counter-indicated. Unless USA's intent is not to rebuild and get Iraq back on its feet, but to make it more dependent on a longer occupation.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Binh said...

So who is fighting? The Badr brigade?

9:57 AM  
Blogger badger said...

good question

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Shirin said...

Vigilante, the Americans would not have built those elaborate "enduring" bases, nor would they be trying to establish a Command and Control Center (risibly dubbed an "embassy") in Baghdad, were their intention to reconstruct a viably independent and sovereign Iraqi state. What they want, and what they wanted from the beginning to end up with is a dependent client "state" that is sovereign and independent in name only.

10:26 AM  

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