Saturday, March 29, 2008

Meanwhile, south of the border

The Kuwaiti government has set up regular military patrols along its border with Iraq, following reports of Sadrist/Maliki-government fighting in an area very close to the border (Zubayr, near Safwan, if you know where that is. Their instructions are to make sure that no one, of any description or under any circumstances, is to be permitted across the border, and to implement this with absolute strictness. And that includes any potential would-be refugees, should the South-Iraq situation deteriorate further. The Kuwaiti paper AlWasat says the Kuwaiti government has notified the Iraqi and American authorities of this.

After reporting on the border patrols, the AlWasat journalist goes on to write about other things he is hearing, presumably from the Kuwaiti side. He writes:
In the same context, after the Americans themselves disclosed their participation on the side of the Iraqi government in the confrontations in Basra and other Southern Iraq cities, AlWasat learned that the British forces based in Basra have undertaken to offer a security umbrella over Iraqi airspace at along the border. This is in order to be able to offer [air] support to the Iraqi government forces in the event of their attacking Mahdi Army locations or groups, which are getting closer to points on the Iraq-Kuwait border.

On another point, informed sources told AlWasat that Iranian intelligence is playing a big role in supplying groups of the Mahdi Army and others with weapons and supplies, with the aim of wearing down the British and American forces that are based in the region.

Also, informed sources told AlWasat that the recent clashes between Mahdi Army groups and the Iraqi government security forces in the regions of Basra, Nasiriya and Diwaniya have had the effect of causing disruptions in the movement of American military convoys moving between Kuwait and Iraq, in support of the missions of force-replacements, and the securing of supply and logistical services.
The journalist doesn't say anything further on any of those topics (British involvement at the border, or disruptions of US Kuwait-to-Baghdad convoys, or alleged Iranian supply-operations), his point being merely to outline what sources are telling him about reasons for the recently-increased tensions, as seen from the Kuwaiti side.


Blogger NonArab-Arab said...

If the al-Wasat source is right about Iranian intelligence agencies being big in resupplying Sadr (huge if I know), it would seem to really refute Tareq Alhomayed's thesis in Asharq Alawsat about the Iranians abandoning Sadr to fully support the governing Shi'a factions (as raised by Abu Aardvark recently):

Or possibly just that Iran is a really complicated place with multiple factions sometimes working at cross-purposes.

7:20 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I really think that T alH piece you refer to was nothing but your garden-variety Saudi demonology. I don't understand why AA featured it the way he did, hopefully it wasn't for the purpose of muddying the water...

I like the ad hoc theory of Iranian support for what seems to them the right thing to do at the time...

7:33 PM  

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