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

US States Where Women Work for Free

Women earn less than men in all 50 states More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death Against IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs