In the Shia dominated south of Iraq, a conflict is developing over political dominance in the upcoming provincial elections.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)
As the SOFA negotiations near their deadline, the Iraqi Cabinet is seeking further amendments to the SOFA draft regarding the duration of U.S. troop presence. For the latest on these complex negotiations, read:
Agence France Presse- US, Iraq will get security pact 'worked out', Rice says
Asia Times - Details of Iraq pact reveal US debacle, by Gareth Porter
A follow up commentary by Marisa Cochrane on the current state of Iranian backed Special Groups activity in Iraq.
The most important objectives of the surge have been accomplished in Iraq. We have an extraordinary – but fleeting – opportunity to advance America's security and regional stability.
There has recently been increased Special Groups and Jaysh al-Mahdi activity in Karbala.
On June 13, 2008 Moqtada al-Sadr authorized the creation of resistance cells. This reveals much about the current state of the Sadrist Trend and its militia, Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM)