Basra Iraq Events
Iraqi streets are again filled with mass protests calling for the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty for the first time since protests erupted after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. Dozens of Iraqis have died in street demonstrations that have caught authorities by surprise.
At least 100 Iraqis, mostly civilians, were killed by sectarian gunfire and bombings during Ramadan celebrations in Baghdad. Shiites, mostly from Basra, were killed in other bombings, while 12 Iranian pilgrims were killed in an area north of Baghdad. The attacks killed at most 100 people, most of them civilians and children, according to local media reports.
The killings have sparked angry protests across Iraq, and Prime Minister Maliki has threatened to expel all Blackwater employees from Iraq. The widespread protests underscore the need for the government to address the Iraqi government's long-standing governance failures to help remove the conditions that have created ISIS and, previously, Al Qaeda in Iraq and beyond. Iraq must recover from the fight against ISIS, which unleashed an ongoing ethnic and sectarian insurgency with the US invasion, and replaced Saddam with no clear plan to replace him. It must also combine civil progress with a security structure that creates the security structures necessary to secure the future of the country and the security of its citizens, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
Iran can exert immense political pressure on many key factions in Iraq, and it is vital for Iran's security to prevent Iraq from ever being threatened, if ever it was. Iran and its proxies could, for example, take control of Prime Minister Maliki's former hometown of Baghdad, carry out a coup d'etat, or carry out an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad or other important government buildings. Iraqis have shown a willingness to attack them in the face of the threat posed by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups.
The Iraqi military used Basra as a route for the invasion of Kuwait during the first Gulf War, and ironically, US-led troops used Basra as a route to Baghdad a decade later, in the 2003 invasion. Militarily, Basra links Baghdad with Baghdad via its highway, so taking the city would be an attempt to cut off Saddam's lifeline in the south.
In the US-led war against Iraq, Americans and British recognized Basra's strategic value and made it the first city they invaded in 2003.
Although Iraqi security forces have been able to contain violence in most southern cities, Baghdad's Sadrist insurgency has been the strongest. The Iraqi military fired into the crowd in Basra, killing hundreds, while paramilitaries killed 18 in Karbala. The unrest ended on Monday, June 2, 1941, when Iraqi troops entered Baghdad, killing hundreds of people on the streets and restoring order throughout Baghdad.
Iraqi city, U.S. troops have completed their withdrawal from the city and have handed responsibility for securing it over to Iraqi forces. In late July, the US announced that more US troops would be deployed to Baghdad to ensure security in the country's capital, which is increasingly exposed to lawlessness, violence and sectarian strife. The Iraqi armed forces coalition planned to launch an offensive in Basra in the summer of 2008, but Maliki wanted to speed up the start of operations.
After George H.W. Bush called for their leader's ouster and the United States bombed them in the Gulf War, Iraqis abandoned Saddam's mercy and left him to his mercy. President Bush has rewritten the reasons for war, no longer citing the threat of weapons of mass destruction, but has described Iraq as a central front in the war on terrorism. Even after the US-led invasion, the country remained politically unstable, and vulnerable to civil war owing to rising tensions between the Sunni and Shia populations, as well as ethnic and religious divisions. Despite US efforts to defeat the extremists, however, they have failed to create a stable Iraqi government and economy.
Since taking power in 1968, Iraq has experienced three other military coups. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq to counter the non-existent threat of proliferation and drive Saddam Hussein from power.
In retaliation, the United States was hit on Sunday, December 29, by two KH bases in Syria that helped bring weapons and personnel from Iran and Iraq to Syria, and then launched a retaliatory attack against the Iraqi PMF. Assuming that the statement was made by Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian-sponsored leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Iraqis rejected the attack on Prime Minister F and Soleimani, because they considered the unilateral US action to be a violation of their sovereignty.
The Iraqi parliament is not controlled by Iranian proxies in Iraq, but, as in Lebanon, they are well represented there. Iraq is holding parliamentary elections this year in response to an insurgency in Anbar province led by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq. (IS). The rise of the Islamic State (Iraq) has served as a unifying force for many Iraqis in the south who are worried about the terror group's threat. Many Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq feel abandoned and threatened by the US, which probably explains their support for IS.