Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Thursday, March 22, 2007
As if the situation in Iraq wasn't complicated enough:
BAGHDAD - The violent Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army is breaking into splinter groups, with up to 3,000 gunmen now financed directly by Iran and no longer loyal to the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, adding a potentially even more deadly element to Iraq's violent mix.

Two senior militia commanders told The Associated Press that hundreds of these fighters have crossed into Iran for training by the elite Quds force, a branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard thought to have trained Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Apparently there are some of the more radical elements in the Mahdi Army not happy with "laying low". I would guess as time goes by and the escalation continues, their ranks will grow in opposition to U.S. and Sunni attacks. The pressure on Moqtada al Sadr to get active again will also grow. Not good news for sure.