Al-Qaeda in Iraq far from out during Ramadan 2012
With the end of Ramadan begins the tallying of casualties that occurred during the holy month. Unity approximates at least 690 civilians and members of the security apparatus were killed during the month of Ramadan. Two spikes in AQI activity, one at the beginning of Ramadan, and the other last Thursday, account for the greater number of casualties. On July 23, 145 people were killed across central and northern Iraq. At the other end on August 16, 128 people were killed. The violence committed on those two days was clearly coordinated. Agence France Press recorded 409 killed.
Last year Unity recorded a much lower tally of 455 deaths. The Iraqi ministries under-reported with 185 killed. Iraq Body count put the figure at 398 deaths.
According to data pulled from the United Nations Aid Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). There were 389 attacks recorded during the month of Ramadan in 2011. This year that number diminished to 356 incidents. Although fewer attacks were reported, violence was much more indiscriminate and effective in 2012. Much like AQI’s current ‘bringing breaking down the walls’ campaign, last year towards the end of Ramadan, the organisation promised to target Iraq with 100 attacks to avenge its Sunni brethren.
The lethality and frequency of attacks recorded throughout Ramadan 2012 have shown that AQI and other affiliate groups are far from eradicated. Statistically there has been little change since Ramadan 2011, with only more violence and greater numbers of casualties highlighting an ever-resurgent network of skilled bomb-makers, sympathizers and facilitators, all seemingly coordinated to maintain a grip on the downward spiralling security situation in Iraq.
This year the Iraqi government are alone culpable for a continuation in violence. With an American presence no longer censured for an extremist presence in Iraq, the government will now have to make drastic changes to its security policy and personnel in order to ameliorate the dire situation in finds itself in post-Ramadan.