Socialist Worker

Violence surges in Iraq as US loses past allies

by Chris Bambery
Issue No. 2164

Former allies of US occupation forces are the driving force behind a renewed wave of sectarian violence in Iraq.

A wave of bombings left some 100 civilians dead in the first three days of last week.

Thirty five people were killed when two booby-trapped lorries exploded in the village of Khaznah, home to ethnic Kurdish Shia group, in the north of the country.

Eighty homes were destroyed and more than 130 were injured, out of a population of 3,000.

Thirty seven people were killed in a bombing at a mosque in a Shia area of Mosul city last Friday.

Paramilitaries of the Sunni based Sons of Iraq carried out these attacks.

Until this summer they had been funded to fight alongside US forces. This was a key element in the success of former president George W. Bush’s military “surge”, credited with defeating the resistance to the occupation.

After the US handed over responsibility for day-to-day security to the Iraqi government, these forces were promised they’d be incorporated into the Iraqi army. That has not happened.

The surge in killings has led many supporters of the occupation to argue that US forces need to be on the ground. But they presided over the virtual division of Iraq into three.

The Baghdad government is based on the majority Shia population and its security forces reflect that. Northern Iraq is controlled by a Kurdish administration.

The area around Mosul has become the focus for much of the violence as Sunni and Kurdish forces fight for control of this oil-rich region.

Sectarian attacks have now spread southwards into the Baghdad area.

The Sunni area did not include any significant oil fields.

The current upsurge in violence flows from the divide and rule policy imposed by Washington.

Joe Glenton, the soldier who is being charged by military courts with desertion, has begun his trial.

The army is bringing an additional case against Joe for campaigning and speaking out against the war in Afghanistan. Send messages of support to

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Tue 11 Aug 2009, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2164
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