Violence in Iraq? It’s the politics, stupid! | CNN GPS
By Joost Hiltermann
With all eyes trained on Syria’s unfolding civil war, the only headline-grabbing news to emerge from the former battleground, Iraq, concerned a fresh wave of violence. Last week, well over a hundred Iraqis were killed and several hundred injured in a series of attacks throughout the country that were claimed by Iraq’s al Qaeda franchise, the Islamic State of Iraq. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had warned of what was to come the day before, announcing a “Breaking the Walls” campaign. On Thursday, Islamic State militants battled with security forces for the first time in years, succeeding even in bringing down a helicopter. It looks as if, having been driven out of most of the areas they controlled and dealt a body blow during the U.S. surge in 2007-08, al Qaeda is rebounding and launching its own military surge now that U.S. troops have gone.
Photo: US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jessica J Wilkes/Wikimedia Commons