Basra is Iraq's economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim's SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr's 'Sadrist Current', and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers' Union. The Battle For Basra explores the power struggle underway in Basra, and what it reveals about the larger battle for control in the new, Shiite-dominated Iraq.
An investigation by Rick Rowley, Hiba Dawood and David Enders with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis reporting. Aired on Al Jazeera English.
PROGRAMMES PEOPLE AND POWER
Battle for Basra
"The Ministry of Oil is controlled by the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), to which the prime minister belongs
People & Power report on one of the most under-reported and contentious issues in Iraq today - the fight to control Iraq's military stronghold.
Basra is the richest city in Iraq – its oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world. Possessing over 80 per cent of Iraq's known oil reserves, this region has become the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shia parties in Iraq – Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, Moqtada al-Sadr's Badr Brigades, and the Fadhila Party, backed by Basra's governor and the oil workers union..."