Taking over the system

This is interesting; apparently one of the problems with Iraq’s electricity supply is that the original control centre was looted back in 2003, with the result that local switching stations were instead given instructions on the phone. Over time, however, these sites have come under the control of whoever has the most guns; and they don’t want power to leave their manor.

But this is interesting:

The precision with which militias control electricity in the provinces became apparent in Basra on May 25 when Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army carried out a sustained attack against a small British-Iraqi base in the city center [i.e. Basra Palace PJCC], and turned that control to tactical military advantage.

“The lights in the city were going on and off all over,” said Cpl. Daniel Jennings, 26, one of the British defenders who fought off the attack.

“They were really controlling the whole area, turning the lights on and off at will. They would shut down one area of the city, turn it dark, attack us from there, and then switch off another one and come at us from that direction.

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