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.
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs