Iraqi security forces continued to battle Shiite militants in the port city of Basra and in the capital Baghdad on Thursday, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to fight "until the end," despite mounting protests against his actions.

Six ministers tied to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr left the Iraqi Cabinet Monday, protesting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's refusal to set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Two regional experts discuss the resignations and the impact on Iraqi politics.

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