On Saturday night and Sunday morning, ISIS launched major bombing attacks in the capital city of Baghdad, killing over 215 people and wounding 175 others. The larger of the two attacks targeted a major marketplace, which was full of people breaking their Ramadan fast.
ISIS has been regularly targeting Baghdad, particularly the Shi’ite neighborhoods, as in these incidents. Ramadan has seen a surge in such attacks, and such marketplaces are crowded at that time of day all over the Muslim world, because of the holiday.
Despite what seems to be plenty of advanced notice that such attacks were likely, the security across the capital, or lack thereof, appeared little changed, and what resulted was the biggest single ISIS attack inside Iraq of the entire year.
Sunday night vigils mourning the huge toll are over, and what’s left is a lot of anger about the Abadi government’s continued failure to provide any real security in Baghdad, and the continued appearance that there isn’t even a serious effort being made.
Much of the Iraqi military is off on offensives against ISIS-held territory, and what security deployments have happened in Baghdad are centered overwhelmingly on the Green Zone. Such deployments were in response to public protests demanding reform, with the Iraqi government desperate to keep the protesters away from government buildings.
In the meantime, ISIS continues to plug away, carrying out major attacks in the capital with relative ease. This is only adding to the sense that Prime Minister Abadi is failing, not just to provide reform, but in the war as well.