The United States may not see the latest spate of bombings as a serious setback, but the month of April has already been the most violent month Iraq has seen since March 2008. Massive bombings over the past week alone have killed around 200 people.
The violence in the nation has been rising steadily over the past two months, but last Thursday’s bombings – marking the deadliest day in a year, have brought renewed attention to a war the Obama Administration, and the Bush Administration before them, has been presenting as virtually over for months.
The attacks have centered around Shi’ite neighbors, Shi’ite religious sites, and even Shi’ite pilgrims from Iran. General Petraeus has blamed the most severe attacks on Tunisian terrorists. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pointed to a combination of al-Qaeda and remnants of the Ba’athist regime.
Baghdad has seen the worst of it. The death toll this month has already passed 200 in the Iraqi capital, more than doubling last month’s total of 99. March’s total was hardly low either – it was also more than double the previous month, which saw only 46 deaths.