Maliki Blames Ba’athists, al-Qaeda for Bombings

Ba'athist Leader said to be Growing in Influence

In the wake of yesterday’s car bombings, the latest in a growing string of high-profile attacks that have undercut the US and Iraqi governments’ claims that the situation in the nation is returning to normal, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has blamed the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime, in conjunction with al-Qaeda, for the attacks.

The attacks, which centered around Shi’ite neighborhoods, were just the latest in a series of incidents that portend a worsening sectarian situation in Iraq. Just over a week ago, the Iraqi government sent security forces into a Sunni neighborhood to round up protesting members of the US-backed Awakening Council. In that incident too, Prime Minister Maliki alleged that both al-Qaeda and the Ba’athists were infiltrating the group and fueling the conflict.

There is growing concern that Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a former military commander and current leader of the Ba’athist remnants, is growing in influence. The United States has offered $10 million for the capture or killing of al-Douri.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.