The reemergence of Iraq's Shiite leadership comes as the Iranian regime now stands only on the religious claims of authority made by Ali Khamenei.
Over the last year, Saydiyah has become one of the principal battlegrounds for the territorial war between Shi'a militias and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Baghdad.
To see this map in context, please view Iraq Report #11
The brigade responsible for most of Diyala in 2007 is rotating home, beginning the drawdown of U.S. troops. Yet force levels in Diyala will remain constant.
Wahash and Iskan constitute a key conflict zone between Shi'a and Sunni militias in West Baghdad.
The Rusafa security district provides an interesting look at a complex Baghdad neighborhood with strategic significance and changing demographics.
The refrain of ‘concerned citizens’ and ‘reconciliation’, so familiar in the news emanating from places like Anbar and Diyala, has found a degree of resonance in the Iraqi capital.
They call themselves Farsan Al Rafidayn, the Knights of the Two Rivers. And in Ameriya, a formerly wealthy district of western Baghdad, they have turned on al Qaeda,