The Battle of Basra took place in Basra, Iraq, from March 25 – March 31, 2008, during the Iraq War.
In this article, we’ll discuss the buildup of this battle and give some interesting insights into what happened.
The City of Basra
Basra is a heavily populated city along the southern tip of Iraq and is the country’s primary port. This made Basra an essential city to Iraq’s economy and a top priority for the countries of the coalition forces to overtake during the Invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Controlled by the Coalition
In late March of 2003, the British tried to gain control of Basra using a strategy where they waited outside of the city for Iraqi forces to come to them. They used this strategy to avoid storming the city and risking the lives of innocent Basra civilians. While they were here, the British fought strong forces of Iraqi soldiers — including the largest tank battle during the Iraq War and the most significant British tank battle since World War II. On April 6, 2003, the 7th Armored Brigade, Desert Rats, entered Basra from the north, while the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards entered the city from the south and together successfully took control of Basra.
Withdraw of the British
From 2005 – 2007, the British began to withdraw from Basra and Islamic extremist groups — known as militias — began to take control of the city. Basra quickly became a very dangerous hub for all kinds of criminal activity, and to stop this, the countries of the coalition and the improved Government of Iraq plotted to regain control of Basra.
The Charge of the Knights
On March 25, 2008, the Government of Iraq launched an attack against the militias in Basra. This attack became known as “The Charge of the Knights” and involved about 30,000 Iraqi troops engaging in intense combat for almost a week. Unfortunately, not many specifics are known about the Battle of Basra because of the low amount of involvement from countries in the coalition.
By March 30, the militias were running very low on ammo and other necessities. The same day, al-Sadr, a significant militia leader, said “Because of the religious responsibility, and to stop Iraqi blood being shed, and to maintain the unity of Iraq and to put an end to this sedition that the occupiers and their followers want to spread among the Iraqi people, we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces. Anyone carrying a weapon and targeting government institutions will not be one of us.”
By the next morning, the Battle of Basra was officially over, and the Government of Iraq formally regained control of the city.
The Battle of Basra was a victory for the Government of Iraq, the countries in the coalition, and the civilians in Basra. At US Patriot Tactical, we are thankful for all the servicemembers that risked their lives in this battle and are glad the city of Basra has ridden itself of crime and oppression.