Omar at Iraq the Model says things have begun to calm down under the extremely tight curfew imposed on Baghdad. All residents have been ordered to stay in their homes until Sunday. It is not clear why the government took the drastic measure at this point.
What can be noticed about this particular curfew is that it's being strictly enforced by Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad.
During most previous days of curfew, vehicles and pedestrians were occasionally seen on the streets but this is not the case today. At least that's what I heard from people who tried to move around for shopping or other business. All, whether driving or on foot, were ordered to go home.
The reasons that made the government declare a curfew remain unclear. AFP reports that:
"The curfew was implemented on the advice of multinational forces to the prime minister because they felt violence would increase today," interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf told AFP Saturday.
A US military spokesman would not say why it had recommended a curfew but only that "intermittent curfews have been an effective means of reducing violence in the past".
However, there's a rumor in Baghdad that al-Qaeda was planning to launch a major offensive in Baghdad and takeover wide sectors of the city. The rumor that was heard for the first time several days ago speaks of 3,000 al-Qeada fighters who have entered the city for that reason.
I spoke with my son last night and while I can't really discuss a lot about what we talked about, I can say he had a lot of very, very good things to say about the Stryker Brigade. That force is heavily involved in what is going on in Baghdad right now.
UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that the curfew may have been imposed to break up a suicide attack against the Green Zone.