March 2008 – Basra: Beginnings of a new Civil War?
Iraq is experiencing a very important curve in its desire of stabilisation. According to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki the latest operation in Basra is aimed at putting an end to the centrifugal forces or what he terms as “lawless gangs”. This is also a sole chance for Nouri al-Maliki to show his American bosses that the investments and training for rebuilding the Iraqi army worked out good, and once the Americans are back, Iraqi forces can continue to control some parts of the country, especially the ones which are vital for oil revenues. More than 30.000 soldiers and police are taking part in the operation, and according to news agencies up until more than 100 people are dead and 300 are wounded. For Maliki this operation is very important in showing the fractions such as the Sadr-clan who the boss will be in Iraq once the Americans are gone, and I guess therefore he is personally attending the operation plannings.
Basra is nevertheless Iraq’s only port city and also a very important oil field. Meanwhile, BBC reports that (1) one of Iraq’s two main oil export pipelines from Basra was blown up in a bomb attack, sending oil prices above $107 a barrel. Therefore, this operation also becomes important for securing the oil revenues.
Furthermore, as we see in the photo, in the notorious Sadr-City, people demonstrate against the Maliki government. The Sadr City, which was called the Saddam City before, is one of Baghdad’s 9 districts and has a population of roughly 2.000.000. It is a post-modern gated community, immune from the Iraqi central government, ruled by a fundamentalist figure-head, which uses the vacuum carefully.
No comments yet.