Perhaps someone should forward this to the White House.
· ISCI = SIIC = new name for SCIRI = Badr Corps = "aristocratic" Hakim family = exiles during Saddam Hussein's reign = pro-Iran = generally in control of army and security forces = pro-U.S. = ally of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Dawa Party.
· Mahdi Army = JAM = "firebrand cleric" Muqtada al-Sadr = Iraqi nationalists = originally part of Maliki's governing coalition but no longer = anti-U.S. = populist/working class orientation = controls much of the oil sector in Basra.
· "Special groups" = rogue elements of the Mahdi Army = maybe Sadr is just as happy to have Maliki take these guys out for him, but who knows for sure?
· Fadhila = ex-allies of Sadr = won some elections in Basra in 2005 = smallest of the three Shiite factions in the south.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Basra conflict: The enemy of my enemy is…who?
Here is a convenient little cheat sheet from Kevin Drum on who is who in the fighting in southern Iraq: