What is the U.S. End Game in Basra?

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Various explanations have been posited to make sense of the ongoing Iraqi Army operation codenamed Sawlat al-Fursan (Attack of the Knights), which has been directed against the Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) throughout the south of Iraq. Marc Lynch summarizes the various theories that have gained traction in explaining the motivations for launching the Basra offensive at this juncture, and most of the more persuasive arguments focus on the motivations and rationales of the Iraqi actors: [1] “Iran is liquidating its no longer useful proxies” theory (which would fit this general line of speculation about Iran’s doubts about Sadr and preference for […]

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