Iraq ‘Drowning’ In Terrorist Attacks, Say Counterterrorists – OpEd
By Jim Kouri
On Monday, the Iraqi people experienced an upsurge in terrorist attacks including 10 car bomb attacks that targeted both Muslim and Christian civilians, as well as members of the Iraqi police and military forces, according to Law Enforcement Examiner’s Israeli counterterrorism source. “The Iraqi people are drowning in terrorist attacks and there appears no end insight,” he said.
Monday’s terrorist attack killed more than 30 victims and injured more than 120 others, according to the anonymous source who’s a former American police officer.
These latest attacks are viewed as al-Qaeda in Iraq’s way of stirring up divisions among Iraqis in order take the struggling nation to the brink of a civil war. While the current Iraqi leadership is attempting to hold together a secular, constitutional government there are several groups intent on creating — and benefiting from — violent political divisions, according to Stephen Roddler, an American police advisor who trained many Iraqi police recruits following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and his regime.
In one of the incidents, the attackers targeted a residential area inhabited by Shiites. A car bomb ripped through the village of Tahir-Awa, not far from the city of Mosul, killing seven civilians and wounding 14 others. Most of the victims were women and children, Roddler noted.
In a separate incident, two roadside IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were detonated almost simultaneously in a nearby village but none of the inhabitants suffered injury.
Meanwhile, five people were killed and 25 wounded in two car bomb explosions at a residential area in the town of Tuz-Khurmato, about 200 miles north of Baghdad, according to the Iraqi news agency.
In other separate incidents, three police officers, including a commander, were killed and three officers were wounded when gunmen attacked their patrol with grenades and gunfire on a main road near the village of Albu-Slaibi, the Israeli source said.
Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint and blew up a car loaded with explosives in the city of Tikrit, the hometown of the late Saddam Hussein, killing one police officer and wounding four others, while in the Iraqi city of Samarra, another car bomb went off near a police checkpoint and wounded three civilians.
In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, mortar rounds landed on a residential area in the town of Rutba, some killing two people and wounding six others. Also in the same province, a car bomb struck a police patrol in the town of Khaldiyah killing two officers and wounding three others, including a police supervisor.
In Baghdad, a car bomb detonated near Uqba Bin Nafie Square in the city’s central district of Karrada, killing a civilian and wounding four others. Near Baghdad, three Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a roadside IED detonated near their patrol in the town of Tarmiyah, while two Iraqi cops were wounded in a separate IED explosion adjacent to their patrol sector in the town.
In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, gunmen attacked the house of a tribal leader late Sunday at a village east of Baghdad, and killed the leader’s son, grandson and an unknown woman. On Monday morning, the same attackers allegedly returned and this time detonated three bombs at a funeral tent set up for their victims from the previous day, thereby killing three more people and wounding about 10 others, said the Law Enforcement Examiner source.
Also in that same province, three people were killed on Monday in eight bomb and gunfire attacks, including two car bombings. The attacks came after a series of bomb attacks struck the city of Kirkuk Sunday night, which killed at least 11 people and wounded some 50 others.
Observers claim these terrorist attacks are part of an attempt by al-Qaeda to maintain their activity in Iraq while a large number of their members are fighting in the Syrian rebellion against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“They wish to show that they are capable fighting a full-blown war in Syria, while still carrying out coordinated and high-profile attacks to undermine the Iraqi government’s promise of providing security to the Iraqi people,” Lt. Roddler said.