News / Middle East

Iraq Sees Deadliest Month in Years

Iraq Sees Deadliest Month in Yearsi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 01, 2013 9:50 PM
July was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008, with around 1,000 people killed and many more wounded. The violence, escalating for months, is largely sectarian and analysts say is further fueled by a political deadlock in Baghdad and the spillover of al-Qaida from the conflict in Syria. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— July was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008, with around 1,000 people killed and many more wounded. The violence, escalating for months, is largely sectarian and analysts say is further fueled by a political deadlock in Baghdad and a spillover of al-Qaida from the conflict in Syria. 

Firefighters tackle the smoking shell of a minibus caught in a bomb attack in the southern city of Basra. At least two people died in the attack Monday, part of a wave of 17 car bombs across Iraq that killed at least 55 people.

The attacks targeted Shi'ite settlements in the capital, Baghdad, and across the south of the country.

Karrar Faiz lost his young brother in this bomb attack in Basra.

"Does God or Mohammed approve such an act? Why? And until when we will continue to suffer," he asked.

The violence has affected most areas of Iraq.  Twin car bombs struck the northern city of Kirkuk last week.  Militants also carried out assaults on two prisons last month, releasing at least 500 inmates - including senior al-Qaida leaders.

Frustration over the lack of security is growing. Fawzi Abdul-Karim, an Iraqi journalist in Baghdad, said "explosions are continuing as bloodshed has swept across Iraq." And yet, he said, "regrettably, not one Iraqi official has tendered his resignation because of his failure."

The United Nations says 1,057 people were killed in July. It has called on Iraq's political leaders to take immediate and decisive action to stop what it called the "senseless bloodshed."

As the violence worsens, Iraq's politicians are deadlocked, says Professor Saad Jawad, formerly of the University of Baghdad and now at the London School of Economics.

"The political parties in Iraq are doing almost nothing," he said. "To the security situation, to the services for the people, to the political process, they are in constant conflict between each other.

"For the last four years we have been living with a Cabinet without a Minister of Defense, without a Minister of Interior," Jawad added. "And these are the two ministries that affect the security situation."

Jawad says al-Qaida fighters were largely defeated in Iraq by 2008. But the conflict in neighboring Syria has lured al-Qaida militants back to the region - and the violence is spilling over the border.

"Lately, they were pushed out by the Syrian army with the cooperation of Hezbollah and other Iranian elements or support," he said. "So they have nowhere else to go but to remove themselves from the area where they were defeated, into Iraq and Lebanon, and that's why you see the violence is increasing in these two countries."

Still, the level of violence is far from sectarian conflict that gripped the country in 2007, when the monthly death tolls often exceeded 3,000 people.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid