Twin Bombings Kill 15 in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, February 9, 2015

At least 15 people were killed in two bombings in and around Baghdad on Monday, police and medical sources said, the latest in a string of deadly attacks to hit the Iraqi capital in the last two weeks.

A suicide bombing at a security checkpoint in the neighborhood of Kadhimiya killed 13 civilians and wounded more than 30 others, the sources said.

The neighborhood is home to one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam and is the regular target of such attacks.

Two people were later killed when a bomb went off on a main street in a northern suburb, police and medical sources said.

No person or group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, regularly targets Shia-majority neighborhoods in the capital.

Large swathes of land in Iraq have become ISIS strongholds as the extremist group, which declared a "caliphate" in the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria, drove Iraq's army — the recipient of $25 billion in US training and funding since the 2003 invasion — to collapse.

At least 37 people were killed in a wave of bombings on Saturday.

According to a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) earlier in February, fighting and other violence in Iraq killed at least 1,375 people including 790 civilians in January.

However, the UN numbers do not include territories held by ISIS.

The group has executed thousands in Iraq and Syria, targeting, in particular, ethnic and religious minorities.

Described as the world's wealthiest "terror" group, ISIS no longer relies on wealthy donors from Gulf states and has become financially self-sustained in both Iraq and Syria, earning $1 million a day from black market oil sales alone.

The returns of oil trade contribute to the expansion of recruitment of these extremist groups.
The US-led anti-ISIS coalition has been bombing Iraq since September and has so far billed Iraq 260 million dollars, despite failure to stop the advance of militants.

However, the air campaign, which Washington says aims to degrade ISIS' military capability, remains the subject of debate, with critics pointing to ISIS' advances and battlefield successes despite the raids.

The expansion of terrorist groups in Iraq raises questions about the effectiveness of the US anti-terrorism campaign since 2001.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 using the pretext of “fighting terrorism” and claiming that then-dictator Saddam Hussein owned weapons of mass destruction.

The war aimed to eliminate al-Qaeda in Iraq, but the terrorist group didn't exist in the country until after the invasion. The US invasion served as a recruitment tool for terrorist groups, as figures show that terrorism rose precipitously in Iraq since 2003.

The war aimed to “free Iraqis” but instead killed at least half a million Iraqis and left the country in total turmoil.

According to UNAMI figures, last year was the deadliest in Iraq since 2006-2007, with a total of 12,282 people killed and 23,126 wounded.

However, despite the violence, the government lifted a longstanding nighttime curfew on Saturday night aimed at normalizing life in the war-torn city.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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