A particularly ugly crackdown by Iraqi troops against Sunni protesters in Hawija on Tuesday has started a new round of sectarian fighting in the nation’s north, with fighting in Mosul erupting overnight on Wednesday and continuing into Thursday, killing nearly 50 more.
But while there’s seemingly a constant major problem of violence in Iraq, the new sectarian clashes could really threaten a breakout of fighting that could resemble the grimmest days of the US occupation.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems to be trying to downplay the incidents, but months of unanswered peaceful protests by Sunni have left a built-in level of unrest that could be ready to explode, while pressure has both the Kurdish blocs and the Iraqiya bloc on the brink of withdrawing from the government, forcing new elections.
Friday is always a big day for protests, and could be a real test for just how much the situation has deteriorated in the past week.
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