Basra, Asharq Al-Awsat – Following the announcement by anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Al-Sadr Trend of the formation of the “Promised Day Brigade” to thwart the security agreement between Iraq and the United States, the citizens of Basra fear that these elements might once again disturb the calm which the city has been enjoying for seven months.
Sahib Akkab Ali, a taxi driver in Basra told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “Al-Sadr Trend declared that the resistance through the Promised Day Brigade would not target civilians and security organs but our past experiences prove otherwise.” On his part, businessman Saad al-Dawsari pointed out that the “fears from the return of violence is a permanent apprehension among broad sectors because its causes lie in the nature of the present political system. No one is ruling out the outbreak of armed actions between the Shiite trends in the south.”
But Staff Major General Muhammad Jawad Huwaydi, the Basra operations commander, underlined the importance of maintaining security and stability and of confronting anyone who wants to tamper with the governorate’s security. He told Asharq al-Awsat that differences in views over the security agreement “should go through negotiations and not the use of weapons, which is an outlawed action which we will not allow regardless of the party taking it.”