Basra Settles Down as Life Returns to Normal

Not that the media effetes care:

BASRA, Iraq (AFP) — Three weeks after Iraqi troops swarmed into the southern city of Basra to take on armed militiamen who had overrun the streets, many residents say they feel safer and that their lives have improved.

The fierce fighting which marked the first week of Operation Sawlat al-Fursan (Charge of the Knights) has given way to slower, more focused house-by-house searches by Iraqi troops, which led on Monday to the freeing of an abducted British journalist.

Residents say the streets have been cleared of gunmen, markets have reopened, basic services have been resumed and a measure of normality has returned to the oil-rich city.

The port of Umm Qasr is in the hands of the Iraqi forces who wrested control of the facility from Shiite militiamen, and according to the British military it is operational once again.

……Residents expressed relief at the improved security.

“I am very happy about the situation right now. The deployment of the Iraqi army has made gunmen and gangsters disappear from the streets,” said court employee Mahdi Fallah, 42.

“The gangs were controlling the ports and smuggling oil. Now the ports are back in government hands. Everything in Basra is better than before.”

Taxi driver Samir Hashim, 35, said he now felt safer driving through the city’s streets and was willing to put up with the traffic jams caused by the many security checkpoints.

“We feel secure. Assassinations have ended, organised crime is finished and armed groups are no longer on the streets,” said Hashim.

“I think Basra will be the best city in Iraq,” he added optimistically. “We are finally beginning to feel there is law in Basra.”

Link: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jau8cyaqusv7BMEs2SCe0aFbTabA

 
Geez, and to think all the Al-Sadr lackeys at the New York Times put so much effort into presenting Basra as a defeat for the Iraqi Army and supporting American forces, even before the battle ended.

The success can be attributed to well-coordinated tactics between Iraqi forces and American Commanders, who provided air and logistical support. The Iraqi Army did most of the fighting and cleaned the clocks of the Mahdis and the Badr Brigade.

Where’s the American media’s praise? That ‘sound’ you hear are crickets chirping.

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