MUTINY IN THE RANKS?….Juan Cole passes along a report from al-Zaman saying that 10,000 Badr Corps militiamen have been inducted into the Iraqi security forces:
The induction of Badr Corps fighters (the paramilitary of ISCI) and those of the Da’wa Party into security positions came in the wake of the firing of thousands of officers and troops who had refused to obey orders to fire on the Mahdi Army militiamen in Baghdad and the southern provinces. They were accused of mutiny.
If al-Zaman’s reporting is correct, the scale of the mutiny is breathtaking, and helps explain why government troops did so poorly against the Sadrists — the hearts of the thousands of them were simply not with the fight.
According to an earlier (English language) article in al-Zaman, “Thousands of police officers were reported to have refused fighting the militiamen and at least two army regiments joined them with their weapons in Baghdad.” I haven’t seen any confirmation of this in the American or British press, so take it as provisional for now. But if it’s true, then the Battle of Basra went even worse for the government forces than we thought.