Even though officials declared the war virtually over quite some time ago, violence has been stubbornly rising in Iraq. April was the deadliest month for US troops in the nation since 2009.
Some believed this to be an abberation, but Iraqi police reports suggest it is a trend. In Diyala Province, police are warning that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), a faction which has been declared dead time and again, is making a “comeback” in a big way.
“Our information network has been getting weaker and weaker, while al-Qaeda is successfully recruiting informants, tribe members and even children,” warned one police official. Officials say the insurgency is getting better and better at tracking the movement of security forces in carrying out their attacks.
The police say that a big portion of this shift in recruitment is fueled by the national government’s reduction in payments to Sunni militias in the region. Those militias were supposed to eventually be folded into the security forces, but with Iraq’s sectarian problems, officials have delayed the moves and AQI is offering hard cash to turn the groups to their side.
Though AQI has never been considered a particularly large organization, it has lingered in Iraq as an opponent of the US occupation and the Shi’ite-led government. The group would likely never be able to secure control over any portion of Iraq, but retains the ability to cause major security problems.