Iraq attacks post-US troops withdrawal raise fears of Al-Qaeda's return
Baghdad, July 24 (ANI): Bombings and shootings in Iraq, such as those that killed more than 100 people throughout the country on Monday, have become a part of daily life after the departure of US troops last December.
According to Washington Post, the U.S. officials are facing questions whether the mass killings, which have accelerated, represent a return to sectarian war, or a resurgence of Al-Qaeda.
"The size and frequency of these attacks tells me that al-Qaeda is returning and re-establishing networks in Iraq," retired Lt. General James Dubik, who oversaw the training of Iraqi forces in 2008, said, adding: "Things in Iraq are definitely not fine."
The attacks, spread across 13 cities and more than 40 locations, targeted mostly Shiite neighbourhoods and appeared to be the work of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, a militant Sunni group.
The attacks included an assault on a military base with guns and grenades, a car bombing in a Shiite vegetable market and a suicide bombing.
More than 570 Iraqis have been killed in major attacks this year after the withdrawal of the U.S. army.
The leader of Iraq's Al-Qaeda affiliate warned that the network was returning to its old strongholds and called for new recruits to launch attacks against the Shiite-led government and its security forces.
"The majority of Sunnis in Iraq support al-Qaeda and are waiting for its return," Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq since 2010, said.
U.S. intelligence officials said that Al-Qaeda has been able to exploit the departure of U.S. troops.
The most recent attacks come amid an ongoing political crisis that began when Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shiite prime minister, accused the country's Sunni vice president of taking part in a terrorist plot against the government. (ANI)
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