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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid