Today was the deadliest day in a year in Iraq, with two massive bombings killing at least 90 people and suggesting that far from being a handful of isolated incidents, the increase in attacks over recent weeks is a trend which threatens to return the nation to the disastrous levels of violence in recent years.
There have been 33 bombings in Baghdad alone this month, including a high profile strike today against a crowd waiting for Red Crescent food parcels being handed out by the Iraqi national police. US military spokesman Lt. Col Brian Maka, however, tried to downplay the situation, saying “these attacks are an attempt to incite violence, but the Iraqi people have shown that they are rejecting this bankrupt philosophy.”
Though no group has yet taken credit for today’s attacks, both targeted Shi’ites. Shi’ites have taken the brunt of the attacks in recent weeks, an ominous sign as the Shi’ite-led government cautions the massive US-allied Sunni Awakening Council has been infilitrated by both Ba’athists and al-Qaeda. As the Shi’ite death toll rises, it seems only a matter of time before their own militant factions begin to retaliate, resuming the tit-for-tat sectarian violence that killed an enormous portion of the civilian population and made refugees out of even more.