The Iraqi al Sadr Shia militia has joined a long list of thugs who have learned not to mess with the Brit Special Air Service. Sadly the Shia community has lost the Brits as an ally in their battle with the Sunnis.
The al Sadr thugs recently started to attack Brit patrols in Southern Iraq, killing several soldiers. So the Brits responded, and:
…arrested six members of the Mahdi army, the militia loyal to the rebel Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Those held included Sheik Ahmad Majid al-Fartusi, the Basra commander of the group, and his aide, Sajjat al-Basri.
On Sunday the Mahdi army said it would retaliate on Monday if its leaders were not freed. The rioting suggested that it had carried out its threat.
Yesterday the terrorists intercepted two SAS undercover agents, beat them up and imprisoned them in a militia house.
The Brit army has experience of being tortured by Iraqis, after six SAS troopers were captured Scud-busting behind Iraqi lines during the Gulf War. So the army got its men out with admirable alacrity, in spite of an ambush in which the bad guys hid behind kids armed with Molotov cocktails.
British troops who stormed a Basra jail with armoured carriers to rescue two commandos discovered that the pair had already been handed over to local militia, the Ministry of Defence said today.
Officers searched the jail in the southern Iraqi city from “top to bottom” before forcing guards to disclose the whereabouts of the men at gunpoint.
The two soldiers, who had been working undercover, were traced to a nearby house from which they were rescued in a follow-up operation.
This outcome is terrible for the Shias and good for the Sunnis.