The AP reports:
Iraqi troops fanned out and gunmen tossed weapons on the streets or in canals with the official launch of the military crackdown in Amarah, a stronghold of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia and the purported center of weapons smuggling from neighboring Iran.
The military action came a day after the expiration of a four-day deadline for militants in Amarah to surrender their arms or face arrest.
It’s the fourth such U.S.-backed Iraqi military operation launched against Shiite and Sunni extremists in recent months as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seeks to assert government control over the country ahead of provincial elections to be held in the fall.
Hopefully this will help stem the flow of weapons from Iran.
ASIDE: The AP article focuses on the arrest of the top official in Amarah, a Sadrist. The usual people are outraged, but there’s not enough information yet to know what the arrest was about.
(Via the Corner.)
UPDATE: More here. Amarah is now in government hands without a shot being fired.