The fighting among Shiite militias and government troops in Basra is a glimpse of Iraq's future, and pivotal cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in deep trouble, according to two CNN correspondents and a CNN military analyst.
The fiery religious leader has a loyal following in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood and other enclaves thanks to generous social programs, but his political movement, his Mehdi Army militia and the cease-fire al-Sadr recently extended are no match for Iranian intrigue, according to CNN's experts.
"Al-Sadr is involved in a very complicated relationship with the Iranians," said CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware. "The Iranians do provide funding and support for his militia, yet at the same time they're trying to rein him in and get him to adopt a certain political agenda, which from time to time he resists." Read full article »