Iraq 2013: A year of carnage

After the bloodiest civil war period of 2006-07, violence in the country dropped off as a result of the US military’s “surge” strategy. But after US troops left on Dec. 18, 2011, Iraqis were left to come to terms with nearly a decade of war. It soon became apparent that the deep inter-ethnic fissures that almost tore the country apart were merely bandaged, but not remedied.

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In Iraq, 2013 has been the deadliest year since 2008, and the rising death toll could be a potential harbinger of things to come. After the bloodiest civil war period of 2006-07, violence in the country dropped off as a result of the US military’s “surge” strategy. But after US troops left on Dec. 18, 2011, Iraqis were left to come to terms with nearly a decade of war. It soon became apparent that the deep inter-ethnic fissures that almost tore the country apart were merely bandaged, but not remedied.

By April 2013, simmering sectarian tensions boiled over and the country experienced its deadliest month in half a decade. If a day goes by in Iraq without scores being maimed or killed in car bombings outside schools, mosques or crowded markets, that day is the exception rather than the rule. Hundreds continue to die each month in such grisly…

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