Iraq: February 19, 2003


Over the last week, some 5,000 fighters belonging to the Iranian backed Iraqi Shia Badr Brigade have moved into Kurdish controlled territory in northern Iraq. Normally, the Badr Brigade operates in southern Iran and is backed by the Islamic conservatives in Iran. Over the last two months, the Badr Brigade fighters have been moving north. The movement of the Badr Brigade was said to be a defensive measure, to protect Iran from an attack by Iraqi backed Iranian rebels in northern Iraq. But in the last, the Iranian army had dealt with such situations. Iran has a keen interest in what happens if the Shiite majority in Iraq gains political power in Iraq. 

Meanwhile, throughout Iraq, real estate prices are soaring as Iraqis try and get rid of their Iraqi currency by buying assets (especially real estate.) The attitude seems to be that Saddam and his government are toast and the smart money is repositioning itself for the new political landscape.


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