Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Security situation in Iraq worse than a year ago

A new report issued by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Junior shows that the security situation in Iraq is more dangerous than it was a year ago.

The news comes as the US military prepares to withdraw its troops. Speaking about the situation, Bowen noted that the killing of US soldiers and Iraqi officials has risen, along with the number of attacks in Baghdad.

The remaineder 47,000 US troops are expected to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, despite fears that Iraqi security forces may not be able to cope.

In his quarterly report to the Congress, Bowen concluded that “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work… It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago."

The report cited the deaths of 15 US soldiers in June, one of the most violent month for the US military in two years, but also said more Iraqi officials had been assassinated in the past few months than in any other recent period. The report noted that while the US and Iraqi security forces have subdued the threat from the Sunni based insurgency, Shi'a militias are believed to have become more active.

Additionally, the report said the north-eastern province of Diyala, bordering Iran, was "very unstable" with frequent bombings resulting in very high death tolls.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

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