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NEWS
April 4, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Gunfire sprayed across the road one day this week, forcing British soldiers to dive into ditches. Frightened Iraqi civilians sat tight in their cars as a calm, boyish-faced British soldier pumped a round at Iraqi militia fighters on the roof of a munitions factory. "Call this Machine Gun Alley," said a grinning Cpl. Richie Strickland of the First Battalion, Irish Guards regiment as he crawled to see if the Iraqis would fire back. Here at this checkpoint near Basra, Iraq's besieged southern regional capital, British soldiers are fighting a familiar war. Many are veterans of urban conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo, where having a light touch to win over skeptical civilians was as important as having a heavy hand with the enemy.
NEWS
March 3, 1991 | From Inquirer Wire Services
The war's aftermath has plunged the southern Iraqi city of Basra into chaos, with "a total breakdown of civil control," but there was no clear indication of rebellion against Saddam Hussein, U.S. military officials said yesterday. "Basra is in chaos right now," a senior U.S. military official said. Britain's Financial Times reported from southern Iraq that Basra was witnessing the first signs of a popular revolt against Hussein, but U.S. sources said they could not confirm that.
NEWS
April 7, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
British forces punched into the heart of Iraq's second-largest city yesterday and quickly seized control of key neighborhoods with little resistance from Saddam Hussein's fighters. Many residents of this besieged city of 1.3 million joyously watched the yellow Challenger tanks roll into their neighborhoods, shouting "No Saddam" and flashing thumbs-up signs. Others looted stores and warehouses in the chaos. "I feel very happy because we have freedom for the first time," said Ali Ibrahim Hussein, 35, a teacher, as he watched a tank swivel its cannon down the Basra highway.
NEWS
March 31, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Iraqi troops fired machine guns and artillery shells at several hundred refugees fleeing Basra yesterday, triggering a shoot-out with British soldiers that pinned terrified refugees in the cross fire. Mothers in black Islamic garments clutched crying babies to their chests. Young men tightly held the hands of their grandmothers. And an old, sun-weathered man with a cane briefly looked to the heavens and yelled, "Allah. God help me. " British forces on the outskirts of Basra are facing an Iraqi guerrilla campaign that is dragging them into an urban, low-tech war in which civilians are human shields and the enemy is not easily distinguishable.
NEWS
August 4, 2005 | By Leila Fadel INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Scores of assassinations have marred the relative peace and prosperity of Iraq's southern port of Basra, a city near the Iranian border that is dominated by Shiite Muslims and has been spared the extreme violence of Baghdad. The assassins have targeted mostly men who are thought to have been connected to Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, which was dominated by Sunni Muslims. About 950 people have been killed since Hussein's regime was toppled in April 2003, according to Majid al-Sari, the Defense Ministry adviser for the southern region.
NEWS
April 30, 1991 | By Dan Stets, Inquirer Staff Writer
At night here, the people can hear the echo of gunfire and artillery in the west from Basra, where fighting still goes on between forces loyal to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Shiite rebels. In daytime near the border, the Iranians and the Iraqi refugees can see the smoke rising from Basra, from fires that resulted from the battles. Each night, bands of 20 to 30 Shias armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades leave their safe havens here and return to Basra to kill.
NEWS
April 20, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
All around retired teacher Mowaffuk Abdul Ghani last week were signs that war-shattered Basra was returning to its old, proud self. The markets were bustling, the traders were hawking, and the men were sipping brown tea at a corner stand. But ask Abdul Ghani about the Basra he would like to see again and he will take you back, way back, to a time when casinos dotted the Corniche, an avenue along the Shatt al Arab river, and when theaters and artists thrived in the city. When Saddam Hussein was not around.
NEWS
March 29, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Residents escaping from Basra yesterday described a city under the strict control of supporters of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein who have moved military equipment into residential neighborhoods and are preventing hundreds of people from fleeing. Approximately 1,000 Iraqis who tried to leave Basra yesterday were stopped when Iraqi loyalists fired mortars and rifles as they were approaching a British military outpost, a British military spokesman said. But more than 1,000 refugees did manage to flee the city and were given food and medical attention by British troops.
NEWS
October 3, 2004 | By Patrick Kerkstra INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Some of the Pentagon's rosy expectations have come to pass in Iraq's second-largest city, at least for the time being. Gun battles and car bombs are the exception, not the rule. Happy children wade into the Shatt-al-Arab waterway to catch sweets and bottled water tossed from boats by British marines. Adults smile at passing soldiers, evidence that the British forces occupying Basra have won over some locals. All of which would seem to make this Shiite-dominated southern port city of more than 1.5 million - roughly one-third the size of Baghdad - an ideal proving ground for President Bush's theory that the United States and its allies can bring democracy and peace to Iraq.
NEWS
April 24, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two weeks ago, Sheikh Muzahim Mustafa al-Kanan formed a tribal committee to work with British forces to rebuild and run Basra. He was a widely despised general in Saddam Hussein's Baath government. Last week, businessman Ghalab Kubba started his own council to advise the British. He got rich by cozying up to Hussein, many people here say. "People don't want the sheikhs or the heads of tribes to lead them," said Zuhir Jawal Kubba, Kubba's son-in-law and a member of Kubba's council.
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NEWS
July 27, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
When he was growing up in Moorestown, Bob Flynn often pondered a military career. He attended Army-Navy games, asked questions about the service, and later entered the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. But Flynn never imagined the life that lay ahead - the rush of flying S-3B Viking twin-engine jets, deploying on three aircraft carriers, then serving in Iraq, where he cleared IEDs around Basra. Now, after years as a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., he has received another surprise.
NEWS
November 25, 2011 | By Nabil al-Jurani, Associated Press
BASRA, Iraq - A string of bombings in a southern oil city killed 19 people Thursday evening and injured dozens more, a grim sign of the security challenges Iraq will face after American troops go home. The U.S. military is drawing down its troops ahead of an end-of-December deadline to have all its forces out of the country. Incidents such as Thursday's triple bombing in a city seen as key to Iraq's economic development show the dangerous prospects awaiting Iraqis next year. Three bombs went off in a popular open-air market in Basra, police and health officials said.
NEWS
August 26, 2011 | By Saad Abdul-Kadir, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Bombs killed at least 15 people Thursday in Iraq, including eight police officers and a soldier, in the latest strike against Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops prepare to leave. Gunmen attacked a police station Thursday in Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad. After exchanging gunfire with the policemen, the gunmen withdrew and a car bomb exploded near the police station, killing five police officers, officials said. About 30 minutes later, a parked car bomb exploded near a police checkpoint in a village outside Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
NEWS
March 28, 2008 | Daily News wire services
Bush: 'Normalcy' in Iraq WASHINGTON - President Bush, who said "normalcy is returning back to Iraq," argued yesterday that last year's U.S. troop "surge" has improved Iraq's security to the point where political and economic progress are blossoming as well. Bush coupled his description of the situation in Iraq, meant to lay the groundwork for next month's report to Congress by U.S. military and diplomatic chiefs, with a forceful slap at war critics. "Some ... seem unwilling to acknowledge that progress is taking place," Bush said at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
NEWS
September 26, 2006 | Daily News wire services
A senior al Qaeda operative who engineered a brazen escape from a high-security American prison in Afghanistan last year was killed yesterday in a pre-dawn raid by British soldiers, an American official and an official in Basra said. About 250 soldiers of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, wearing night-vision goggles and carrying special rifles, stormed a house in the quiet, wealthy Junainah neighborhood of Basra in southern Iraq, intending to capture the operative The spokesman for the British military in Iraq identified him as Omar al-Farouq, an Iraqi.
NEWS
June 1, 2006 | By Inquirer foreign reporter Tom Lasseter
Inquirer foreign reporter Tom Lasseter answers questions on developments in southern Iraq: Question: How can Iraqi leaders disarm the militias, which are so politically powerful? Are security forces strong enough to do that? Answer: Iraq's security forces include many members of Shiite militias who have been infiltrating the army and the police since at least early last year, and in Basra and other areas, the army and police are dominated by Shiites. How those units would respond to an order to disarm their own militias is unclear.
NEWS
June 1, 2006 | By Nancy A. Youssef INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki yesterday ordered thousands of Iraqi troops to Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, to clamp down on escalating violence that threatens to throw the once-peaceful city into anarchy. Maliki imposed a state of emergency on the city, which is the Shiite-dominated capital of the oil-rich southern part of Iraq, and said he would use "an iron fist" to reimpose order. The violence coursing across Basra includes Shiite death squads hunting down Sunnis, the two major Shiite militias fighting each other, and tribes carrying on ancient feuds.
NEWS
May 28, 2006 | By Tom Lasseter INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Southern Iraq, long touted as a peaceful region that's likely to be among the first areas returned to Iraqi control, is now dominated by Shiite Muslim warlords and militiamen who are laying the groundwork for an Islamic fundamentalist government, say senior British and Iraqi officials in the area. The militias appear to be supported by Iranian intelligence or military units that are shipping weapons to the militias in Iraq and providing training for them in Iran. Some British officials believe the Iranians want to hasten the withdrawal of U.S.-backed coalition forces to pave the way for Iran-friendly clerical rule.
NEWS
April 20, 2006 | The Philadelphia Inquirer
These men, both leaders of Iraq?s Shiite majority, have loyal - and armed - supporters. But they can?t agree on who should lead Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr Following the model of the Lebanese party and guerrilla movement Hezbollah, Muqtada al-Sadr has won support by catering to the needy and maintaining a force of men with guns. In Kufa last week, members of his God?s Martyr Foundation were operating a squalid halfway house for displaced Shiites in an abandoned hotel, providing protection and doling out food to 51 families.
NEWS
March 17, 2006 | By Andrew Maykuth INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On the eve of America's third anniversary in Iraq, historians are looking back and seeing a familiar pattern emerge: A Western army attempts to impose order on Iraq but encounters unanticipated, violent resistance. As casualties and domestic opposition mount, the occupiers redefine the mission and look for an exit. Iraq slides toward ruin. In the view of some historians, the 21st-century American-led occupation is taking on the appearance of the British attempt to transplant Western-style democracy on Iraq after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Both the Americans and the British eight decades ago "seem to have gone into Iraq thinking that all you need to do is remove the shackles of the previous regime and something more democratic will emerge," said Phebe Marr, a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and author of The Modern History of Iraq.
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