THE OTHER SHOE….Via Marc Lynch, AFP reports on the latest from Basra and Baghdad:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday ordered his security forces to stop random raids and arrests following a week of military assaults against militants loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

“The prime minister has ordered a halt to all kinds of raids and arrests without warrants,” said a statement issued by Maliki’s office.

He has, however, ordered his security forces to “deal strongly with any groups carrying arms in public.”

This was #2 on the list of demands that Sadr issued on Sunday, so it looks as if Maliki has decided to accept Sadr’s terms and pack up for now. More from Juan Cole here, who suggests that there’s more to come between now and the October elections.