What Happened in Basra

What Happened in Basra

The Weekly Standard, April 14, 2008, Volume 13, Issue 29

By Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan



On March 24, 2008, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) under Lieutenant General Mohan al-Fireji launched a series of attacks against illegal Shia militias and criminal elements in the city of Basra.

The attack appears to have resulted from an impulsive order by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who had gone down to Basra to see the preparations for a more deliberate operation then being planned. The militias, which included elements of the Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) nominally under the control of Moktada al-Sadr as well as the Special Groups--secret cells organized by the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps--were well dug-in and fought back.

This article originally appeared in The Weekly Standard.