Viral video sparked tension

Calm returns to Basra after early-hour clashes

Najibiyah (Basra), January 13, Calm has returned to the streets of Najibiyah in northern Basra following armed confrontations last night involving light and medium weapons between members of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), led by Qais Al-Khazali, and Saraya al-Salam, affiliated with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr.

A senior security source told 964media that the armed individuals withdrew from the streets of Najibiyah early Sunday morning after the clashes. The Basra Operations Command deployed units of the Iraqi Army in the area of the confrontations and established multiple checkpoints. Movement cautiously resumed on the streets alongside the Khaled Bridge in southern Basra.

The early hours of Sunday witnessed skirmishes that resulted in the burning of a vehicle belonging to one of the Asa’ib members. The clash quickly ceased following the intervention of security forces, while civil defense teams extinguished the vehicle fire.

Social media circulated a video featuring one of the Asa’ib members from Najibiyah, Ali Hameed, talking about a personal altercation between his son and a neighbor, which was resolved at the police station. Hameed said that inaccurate rumors reached Saraya al-Salam regarding his verbal abuse towards Muqtada al-Sadr. waving his weapon, he invited those who wanted to confront him to his house.

Following the altercation, gunmen targeted Ali Hameed’s house with launchers and machine guns, leading to the burning of his personal vehicle. Asa’ib members responded to the source of the gunfire.

An eyewitness told 964media about being stopped by masked gunmen wearing military uniforms near Khaled Bridge. The armed individuals searched the witness’s car trunk and prohibited the use of a phone to prevent recording. The witness reported difficulty in reaching home due to other armed individuals spread along the road. It was reported that the gunmen positioned themselves on hills near the bridge and used light and medium weapons to target the house in Najibiyah.