UN: Iraq Ready to Explode; Over 600 Killed This Month

Anbar Governor Narrowly Escapes Assassination

UN Special Representative to Iraq Martin Kobler has issued a statement today expressing grave concerns about the soaring level of violence in the country, saying the sectarian violence is “ready to explode” into another full scale civil war.

“Systemic violence is ready to explode at any moment if all Iraqi leaders do not engage immediately to pull the country out of this mayhem,” Kobler added.

Of course the decision of whether a civil war is ongoing depends on who you ask, but well over 400 people were killed in April, and the May death toll is now in excess of 600. Those tolls are in-line with the last sectarian blood-letting, during the US occupation.

Violence never really went away in the wake of the US occupation, of course, but it had dropped off significantly from the surge-era tolls, and sectarian killings weren’t the daily issue they were in 2008, or that they are now.

Today saw yet more sectarian attacks nationwide, mostly centering on Shi’ite neighborhoods in Baghdad, but also including the attempted assassination of the governor of Anbar Province, a Sunni-dominated province in Iraq’s west.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.