By David Sadler Last Updated Sep 30, 2022
Hundreds of militiamen of the “Saraya al-Salam” militia affiliated with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, paraded last night in the main streets of Basra, amid contradictory information about the goal of the sudden move on the eve of a popular protest in Baghdad and other cities today.
Video clips, circulated by activists on the communication sites, showed hundreds of “brigades” parading with light and medium weapons, and roaming the streets of Basra with pickup wheels.
The parade paralyzed the normal traffic in the streets, until late at night, before the Saraya withdrew automatically, according to what a local source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Activists and various field sources refer by name to the “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” militia led by Qais al-Khazali in Basra, as it is pursuing activists in the civil movement and leaders of the Sadrist movement in the context of an undeclared war between the two sides.
A field source said that Asa’ib gunmen paraded their weapons near the presidential palaces in Basra, which prompted the “brigades” to respond in kind, “and more.”
According to leaders in Saraya al-Salam, the exercise was carried out in coordination with the security forces to protect the city from “external strife.”