SAS In Renewed Basra Fighting
The Times has reported that the Special Air Service (SAS) has again been assisting Iraqi forces in action in the southern city of Basra.
As reported here last month, SAS Forward Air Control (FAC) experts called in air strikes and gave other assistance to the Iraqi Army in their unsuccessful attempt to take control of the city from the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to Moqtadr al-Sadr.
A failed logistics chain, desertions amongst the Iraqi Army units coupled with command, control and communications failures resulted in an inconclusive operation. A renewed offensive is now underway, with the SAS again calling in air strikes from U.S. and U.K. jets, as well as directing fire from British artillery. Early reports suggest that this time the operation was more successful.
British-backed Iraqi forces take militant stronghold