Bloody End to Ramadan in Iraq
You may have missed it because the American media is virtually ignoring the dissolution of Iraq. Wouldn't want to tarnish Obama's reputation by reporting anything that might reflect badly on his decision to pull out of that war torn country completely, leaving the field to a re-energized al-Qaeda and other terrorists.
But a body count like this can't be swept under the rug.
As Iraqis flooded the streets of their capital and other cities on Saturday to celebrate Id al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a string of car bombs struck in mostly Shiite neighborhoods, killing more than 60 people, officials said.
The bombings were the latest in a surge of attacks in Iraq this summer -- before, during and after Ramadan -- that have brought monthly death tolls to levels not seen in nearly five years, according to United Nations figures.
The attacks on Saturday killed at least 61 people and wounded more than 200 across Iraq, an Interior Ministry official said.
Nine car bombs struck around Baghdad, the capital, at public markets and near a city park, and many exploded in Shiite neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the increasingly violent Sunni insurgency led by Al Qaeda's Iraq affiliate, killing at least 35 people. Other attacks -- in the northern city of Tuz Khurmato, in Hilla, Karbala and Dhi Qar in the south -- killed at least 26.
The State Department condemned the attacks and noted that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Al Qaeda's Iraq affiliate, is now based in Syria.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information "that helps authorities kill or capture" Mr. Baghdadi and is prepared to work with the Iraq government to counter the threat from Al Qaeda, Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement Saturday night.
That reward is second only to the one that the United States has offered for information leading to Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of the Qaeda network.
According to the United Nations, 1,057 Iraqis were killed and 2,326 were wounded in attacks in July, the highest monthly casualty figures since 2008.
The body count continues to rise and the thought that Baghdadi is sitting safe and sound in Syria, perhaps the beneficiary of weapons supplied by our friends in Qatar, does not bode well for Iraq's future. The country is closer to being a failed state than at any time since the surge began more than 5 years ago. It won't take much to push it over the edge.