The everyday news from Basra gives little details on the ability of the coalition to combat Iranian infiltration into Shiastan. Does the announcement of a new security plan by the Basra police commander, Major-General Mohamed Al-Musawi, to protect mosques indicate a strong push by the government to eradicate militia influence? Public support may be encouraged by the establishment of military courts to try serious crimes. These appear to have taken place last year to complement the local authorities and try militia crimes (in badly worded English?).
On the other hand, [Military Court Judge Ghazi] Dawood said that, the court
looked after cases of killing, kidnapping, cars steeling besides
terrorism cases. He emphasized that their performances have the obvious
effort in decreasing the crimes in the province through the last
quarter of the past year, pointing of the arrangement between the
security emergency committee existence in the administration positions
besides the arrangement within the government forces and province's
council from the other side.
The British Army is currently using Operation Sinbad to hand over the city of Basra to local security forces, with reconstruction investment as a sweetener for the provincial authorities. Operation Sinbad is progressing in co-operation with the central government, as the judicial activities reported here support. The central question is whether this is a precursor to the withdrawal of Britain from Iraq, or will the government adhere to US requests and maintain a reduced presence hunting Iranian infiltration?