An Ugly Start to August in Iraq as Syrian Civil War Takes Its Toll

Scores Killed in Attacks Nationwide

Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) continues to benefit immensely from the Syrian Civil War as they continue to escalate attacks nationwide, killing at least 54 people and wounded 74 others nationwide today.

It is an ugly start to August, and after Iraq’s Health Ministry branded last month the deadliest in over two years, today’s death tolls suggest it is indeed no fluke, but part of a growing trend of violence nationwide.

Nationwide, but nowhere as significant as Diyala and the rest of the region around the Syrian border. With the Western-backed rebels in Syria enjoying growing access to foreign weapons, the spillover into Iraq has been palpable, and the Iraqi government’s efforts to bolster border security have not succeeded.

AQI has been declared defeated a number of times by the Maliki government only to reemerge, but this time their return has come in force, and the group threatens to not just continue its domestic operations but to expand globally, including with attacks against the US.

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.