Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Arrogance in Iraq

Not the Americans this time, but the British. Earlier today, a pair of "undercover" British soldiers (SAS?) were arrested after they got into a gunbattle with Iraqi police in Basra and killed a policeman. Normally, this sort of thing would be resolved by negotiation (and pointing at the SOFA - the status of forces agreement), but instead the British response was to storm the police station with tanks and break their men out by force. No-one died in the raid, but you really have to wonder at the mindset which orders such action against their own allies.

Things were going relatively quietly in Basra up until now. Now they've provoked an full-on riot, during which several British APCs were disabled by petrol bombs, and they have the city governor accusing them of a "barbaric act of aggression".

This doesn't bode well for the future...



Don't forget the 150-ish prisoners who escaped during the "rescue".

So, exactly, what did this raid achieve?

Posted by Matt : 9/20/2005 12:57:00 PM

Strikes me that if the Brits have that bad a relationship with the Iraqis what can it be like for the Yanks.

The British are supposed to be the ones who've been making an effort, learning Arabic, etc.

Posted by Rich : 9/20/2005 03:46:00 PM

according to the bbc this morning the british had correct intelligence that their soldiers had been handed over to a militia and that is why they stormed the police station.

intelligence gained fromt the police station allowed the british to locate their soldiers and rescue them from the militia.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 08:46:00 PM

Local security forces have become so infiltrated by 'radicals' that instead of handing the prisoners over to the military, as required by Iraqi law (and in this case, demanded by the Iraqi interior minister), the police handed them to the Mahdi army (supposedly to be used as hostages to negotiate release of their arrested leaders).

The police building was stormed after the police had refused to follow orders/law - sounds like the Brits had to make a lose/lose decision :(

Having coallition forces storming a police building looks very bad - painting them as above the law, but I think the real story here is what hope is there for a functional Iraq without coallition presence if the new Iraqi security forces have become this corrupt already?

Posted by Anonymous : 9/21/2005 07:51:00 PM

Tho I guess even in America, copkillers get 'special' treatment by police.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/21/2005 08:14:00 PM