...Local residents said the southern sections of Basra, mostly poor and heavily populated, were still controlled by the Mahdi Army on Wednesday night. One Mahdi commander bragged by telephone that after Iraqi armored vehicles failed to gain access to his neighborhood, the Army units fled and his fighters spray-painted Koranic slogans on the vehicles. The claim could not be independently verified.
Both Mahdi and Iraqi Army officers agreed that some of the heaviest fighting took place in the western Basra neighborhood of Hayaniya, where fighters attacked the Iraqi forces and then retreated into the neighborhood.
Col. Abbas al-Tamimi, media officer for the 14th Iraqi Army Division operating in the city, said he expected the fighting to escalate. “The gunmen have heavier and more sophisticated weapons than we have,” he said...
I wonder if anyone kept track of all that hardware we gave them to go after Al Qaeda?
...Abu Iman barely flinched when the Iraqi Government ordered his unit of special police to move against al-Mahdi Army fighters in Basra.
His response, while swift, was not what British and US military trainers who have spent the past five years schooling the Iraqi security forces would have hoped for. He and 15 of his comrades took off their uniforms, kept their government-issued rifles and went over to the other side without a second thought...
So let me know if the al-Mahdi Army puts the new FEL megawatt laser cannon in the field before we do.
With all that oil money, the Iraqis- or their Company managers- can probably pay more reliably for top seekrit weapons from the contractors than the D.o'D. can.