Iraqi has begun an operation in Basra with its armoured army and a police strike force to disarm tribal fighters, said a local official and three security sources on Friday.
"This security operation targets areas north of Basra that have an abundance of tribal clashes and will also include neighbourhoods inside Basra city in the future," stated Jabar al-Saadi, head of the security committee at the Basra provincial council.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spoke at his weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday in Basra and ordered Iraqi forces to "strike with an iron fist (against) the gangs that tamper with Basra's security."
The security forces with army helicopters, tanks and heavy weapons entered overnight the northern district of al-Hussein, a key point for tribal fighters also called al-Hayaniya, Saadi said.
They arrested nearly 30 people over criminal charges and seized machine guns, mortars, bazookas, assault rifles and large ammunition caches.
The majority of crude oil exports from OPEC petroleum producer in Iraq, mainly comes from its oil reserves around Basra.