BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi forces clashed with Shiite militias in the
southern oil hub of Basra on Tuesday as a security plan to clamp down on
violence between rival factions vying for power in the region began. Rival factions from Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority and criminal gangs have been
competing for control of Basra.
AP Television News video showed smoke from explosions rising over the city and
Iraqi soldiers exchanging gunfire with militia members.
A couple of points to remember when you consider this. The Shia actually control the government, yet factions of this group don't want them in charge. The strongest and most militant militias are either currently aligned with the government or observing a truce. The government is admitting they don't control the second largest city in Iraq, and this city was the most stable of all the major Iraqi cities.
It is very unlikely that this flare up will do much, in-fact it feels like a practice or trial run. But, it is a safe bet that this is just a small taste of where we are headed if we follow the path we are on.