Remember the British pullout that led to all of the lawlessness and killings? It turns out to have been triggered by a disastrous deal struck with a Shia prisoner, Ahmed al-Fartusi, who promised that the release of him and his men (and the withdrawal of British forces) would stop the violence. Instead, they unleashed a torrent of shootings and bombing — most directed at the withdrawing British.
The admission can from Colonel Richard Iron who admitted that the deal was “understandable but inexcusable.”
It appears that al-Fartusi, said he could put a stop to the killings. So the British released 120 of the prisoners and started to withdraw from the town. The British were then attacked and lawlessness returned.
In March, in the so-called Charge of the Knights, 15,000 Iraqi troops, backed by the British and Americans, finally returned and took over the Shia militia strongholds.
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