Iraq Body Count figures for July 30: 50 killed
IBC total to-date for July, 2013: 941 civilians killed
The AP reports 26 more dead today in several shootings (the deadliest in two Shi’i neighborhoods in Baghdad and in Mosul), but they’re not quite getting the story correct:
Attacks including bombings of Shiite and Sunni mosques left 26 dead in Iraq, the latest in a surge of bloodshed that is raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian killings, officials said Wednesday.
Most attacks on Shiites are presumed to be carried out by the country’s branch of al-Qaida, which claimed credit on Tuesday for a wave of bombings the day before that killed at least 58 people. It said the attacks were carried out on behalf of “oppressed Sunnis,” suggesting the group is trying to capitalize on Sunnis’ complaints of being treated as second-class citizens by the Shiite-dominated government.
The attacks on Shi’i targets are being carried out by Iraq’s al-Qaeda branch, but so are the attacks against Sunni targets. The one attack on a Sunni Arab target today was a shooting on a checkpoint manned by Sahwa, a Sunni militia that opposes al-Qaeda. It’s all part of the same destabilization campaign by AQI (or ISIS if you prefer). If and when this conflict becomes sectarian, it will probably be be immediately clear and very devastating.
Meanwhile, back in the country that broke Iraq in the first place, we have Kenneth Pollack (via), comrade in (sending other people off to bear) arms to friend of the blog Michael O’Hanlon, who has been Thinking some Big Thoughts about how to Fix Iraq. This ought to be good. Continue reading