A sectarian civil war that was fought alongside of the US occupation through the last decade came and went, but is seemingly back with a vengeance in 2013, as a massive spike in violence in the summer has left well over 8,000 people killed in Iraq so far this year, and nearly three whole months to go.
USA Today has released its own chart showing the general trend, and while it relies on UN figures, which grossly underestimate the overall toll and don’t figuring in dead insurgents, they do provide a telling picture of the summer.
The 2013 Iraq fighting didn’t really start kicking off in earnest until late April, when Iraqi military forces attacked Sunni civilian protesters. That set off a series of attacks by Sunni militants, and has been used by those factions to recruit civilians fed up with the Maliki government’s refusal to follow through on pledged power-sharing.
The death toll now rivals that of the later years of the US occupation, roughly in line with 2007, but with no end in sight, the trend seems to be toward the situation getting worse, not better.