Is Iraq On The Brink Of A Full Blown Civil War?

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Wednesday, a massive truck bomb (see photo) killed 95 people, and left at least 600 wounded, in Baghdad. It was the country most violent day in 18 months, and it follows  the dramatic attack increase of the last few weeks.

Today, in the aftermath of the attack, Shiite politicians and Sunni groups are blaming each others for it.

A statement released today by the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, an influential Shiite party close to Iran said:

“The remain of the former Saddam regime, who are accusing Shiites of being unbelievers, are continuing their crimes against innocent Iraqis revealing their criminal plans against people’s freedom and dignity. Those attacks are clear evidence that there is a studied plan aim to kill more innocent Iraqis and destroy the wealth of Iraq.”

A leading Sunni insurgency group in Iraq, The Islamic Army in Iraq, which includes many army officers from the Saddam regime was quick to respond, and to squarely put the blame with the Shiite controlled government and the US forces.

The Islamic Army in Iraq statement said:

We accuse the occupation forces, the government, political blocks with militias who are fighting between each other, in executing the attacks. The Islamic Army in Iraq always condemn all the attacks targeting innocent people. The fact that the series of attack took place in Baghdad confirm that some factions in the government and the political process want to build a state full of sectarianism and division.”

The Iraqi elections are set to take place in January 2010; as we get closer to it, it is likely that the sectarian violence will get even worse. This should serve as a reminder that Iraq is still a deeply divided country. The gesture of removing the countless concrete barriers in Baghdad which was supposed to symbolize Iraq’s unity, and the beginning of the end of the US occupation was unfortunately mainly wishful thinking.

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