SOFT PARTITION?….The London Times provides more detail on the ongoing division of Baghdad along sectarian lines:
More and more, Baghdad is splintering into Shia and Sunni enclaves that are increasingly no-go areas for anyone from outside….The result is that since February, when Sunnis bombed the golden-domed mosque in Samarra, a Shia shrine, 146,322 individuals have been displaced in Baghdad, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
The pattern is so pronounced that the US military has drawn up a new map of Baghdad to reflect its ethno-sectarian fault lines. Published here for the first time, it lists the mixed neighbourhoods considered to be most explosive. Four of the five are on the western bank of the Tigris, called Karkh, where mixed neighbourhoods are still prevalent. Predominently Shia Kadhamiya and the largely Sunni areas of Qadisiya, Amariya and Ghazaliya have become the deadliest battlegrounds, according to US forces.
Nadezhda has more over at American Footprints about the growing refugee crisis, and concludes “Soft partition may start looking like a better and better option.”
The U.S. military map is below, and it demonstrates the de facto separation that’s happening right now. Keep it handy in case Jeff Stein calls you for an interview.